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  • Cameron C. Dubes

Coming out of the medicine cabinet

Long time, no post. I set this blog up in 2019 but then Covid occurred and my consulting business when dormant for two years. While I "came of the closet" at 35, 2022, at 65 I "came out of the medicine cabinet" by becoming the Senior Philanthropic Advisor for MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. I have the unique and deep honor of working for Rick Doblin, a truly visionary leader who I admire immensely and who has a vision of spiritualizing the world by 2070.

I have been a psychonaut since the late 80's. As a shy Iowa farm boy working as the Director of Public Relations for the National Future Farmers of America Association in Washington, DC, in 1988 I began to explore the gay club scene as a closeted man. In 1989 I experienced MDMA for the first time which helped me to release my awkward shyness and changed my life. That first experience on a NYC dance floor, I also became a tribal visitor by leaving my DC tribe and danced to visit all the other tribes on the dance floor. I believe the medicine also launched me on a fast spiritual track during the AIDS crisis while friends were dying of AIDS. I later recognized that the gay community at the time were processing grief and PTSD in real time on the dance floors. In those days, it was only ecstasy. I also had some deeply mystical experiences on the dance floor.

After witnessing my boss and dear friend die slowly of AIDS in 1990, I went home for the first time as the gay son and brother over Thanksgiving. After coming out to my older sister and brother and sharing mystical stories with my father about my mother's death when I was 17 and years later my father's mother's death, I returned to DC in a state of natural ecstasy of joy as my true self. A letter came around announcing a special Pediatric AIDS Fund established in memory of my boss at Children's National Medical Center and Spirit moved me to write a letter in tribute to my boss about what I learned about life and death and mailed 340 letters from my rolodex on Christmas Eve. I returned from Christmas break and was asked to resign as the hospital felt I had made the institution liable as my boss was not publicly gay. Although my friend had been honored by the DC fundraising community the year before and had introduced his gay partner. Just the year before I was recognized for my work rebranding Children's with a teddy bear stethoscope and was called Dr. Bear by my team members and had been promoted to help lead my first fundraising campaign for a new research wing for Children's. I was given a six month severance and the last week was hired by Greenpeace International to help raise funds for a pediatric triage lab in Kiev, Ukraine to determine the worse cases of radiation poisoning of the children of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. This began my deep understanding of the burgeoning environmental challenges facing the planet.

After leaving Greenpeace, I traveled to the 1992 first UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Following the conference, I experienced for the first time through magical synchronicities ayahuasca through the Santo Daime ayahuasca church. That experience was profound and the plant spirit medicine changed my life and began my commitment to help heal the planet.

It has been a magical, mystical tour ever since. I've experienced 100's of ayahausca works via Santo Daime and indigenous communities from Brazil and Peru, healing childhood trauma of working with an unhappy, angry father on a money losing feeder cattle operation in NW Iowa. Dad unconsciously mentally abused me and through a deep ayahuasca retreat at Wasiwaska in Florianopolis, Brazil, I had a profound healing around my traumatic childhood and forgave my father. I recognized he had been forced to farm as the youngest son and was acting out his own and our farm family's traumas. We went on to have a very special loving relationship until he passed at 83. He taught me so much and I honor him.

Most recently, last summer after MAPS' Psychedelic Science conference, I traveled to Mexico to experience Ibogaine. That experience helped to heal me from a traumatic brain injury incurred when I walked in front of a swing at the age of eight. After a number of stitches, I now carry a Vishnu Hindu diety type of scar on my forehead. The Ibogaine also quieted my inner critic, helped to further heal my childhood trauma and sexual shame.

Our Iowa beef farm had been a showplace in the 1930's and my family raised an international champion Shorthorn bull. In the 1960's the USDA and Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz of the Nixon Administration urged farmers to get big or get out. We had too many feeder cattle on the farm and there was a lot of disease caused by feeding ruminants corn, thus we were also financially challenged. Ironically, our farm was called Shadow Lawn because of the large trees on our lawns. Reflecting, there was definitely a lot of shadow on the farm.

Another irony, Vishnu's scar was received when he rose up from his meditation mound to save a dairy cow who was nourishing him by letting his milk on the mound. The cow's farmer saw the cow letting his milk and grabbed an ax to kill the cow and Vishnu rose up and took the ax in his forehead. Interestingly Vishnu is considered a supreme Hindu diety as The Preserver.

Cattle are destroying the Amazon and also the rise of our current industrial agriculture system parallels the rise of chronic disease. Science has shown that our over consumption of animal products leads to cancer and other chronic diseases. Please, if you must consumer meat, eat ethically raised animals and not often. Shamanic dieta's are about consuming clean, healthy food without salt, oil or sugar. Science shows that a whole food plant based diet reverses chronic diseases. Just as many are now consuming plant medicines, we should also be eating plants as food is our medicine.

Finally, just this past weekend, I experienced a profound three-day Peruvian Shipibo ayahasca retreat in the Catskills which has helped me to step forward to manifest I ask that you all join me in helping regenerate the world! Thank you!

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