36 Comments

This was such a good article! Also I cannot stop laughing at “In some other alternative reality, right there at that moment, I punched him in the face.” So so good.

As much as I too hate the cultish vibe these things put out, I healed a bout of vertigo in a yoga class so..... it works?

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Jun 14, 2022·edited Jun 14, 2022Author

Haha. Thanks Elle. I'm glad you liked it. LOVE YOUR SUBSTACK :)

And yeah. I guess we're pro-cult now?

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Hahaha! I guess so. And thank you so so much!!!!!

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Jun 16, 2022Liked by Alex Kruger

I felt this article was a fantastic depiction of what is or possibly is on the other side. I could not stop reading. I could also relate completely as someone who has attended an ayahuasca ceremony. Much of this is exactly how I felt. It was great reading from someone who could articulate it so well. I admire your writing ability to transport the reader with joy, humor and a down right great perspective. Looking forward to reading more from you. What an experience! Thank you for sharing.

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Thanks Jill. Really appreciate the note. Hoping that your experience was a good one. Or helpful. Or whatever it's supposed to be ;)

Thanks again

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I really enjoyed this. I have always been wary - scared, really - of Ayahuasca. I did shrooms one time and it was such an incredible experience, even more cosmic and mind-shifting than I had been led to expect, that I’ve never felt the need to do it again, for fear of any subsequent trip not living up to it (I didn’t get a Spacelady; I got a dolphin made of light inside a temple made of light). I love reading other people’s experiences with psychedelics because no matter how insane or fabricated they might sound, I know everything is possible.

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Apr 5Liked by Alex Kruger

Loved this. Like you need another cure tip, but here goes. I suffered for years until I came across two brothers (doctors) on You Tube. They said the treatment was similar to that of a stroke victim. Bottom line; balancing exercises, any exercise that forces you to balance every day. If I get lazy within a few days the dizziness is back. So it’s a life long positive thing to do. FYI I had an amazing “unplanned” ayahuasca experience outside Rio a few yrs back while visiting my grandchild. I’ll never forget it.

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Send me the link

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Apr 4Liked by Alex Kruger

Fascinating take on this experience. If you're interested in a less cult-like solution to your problem, what you described sounds a lot like Meniere's disease. If that's the case, a low-sodium diet can reduce fluid retention and help with the swelling in your ear. Definitely worth asking a doctor about if you haven't already!

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Ah thank you. Yes. I basically have atypical Meniere's :D FUN TIMES

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Apr 3Liked by Alex Kruger

Another great essay Alex! I read it at the best possible time, right after pouring out my kratom tea, which is too vile & bitter to force myself to drink anymore

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Haha thank you Val

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Mar 29Liked by Alex Kruger

Alex, thanks for bringing a New Yorker’s wit and cynicism to the profound. Don’t know whether you are one, (though now certainly an honorary one), but your sardonic window into the metaphysical left me giggling and nodding with each of your journal entries. You allowed many of us feel the courage to dive off that diving board with disbelief and seeking, each holding hands with one another, hoping for the impossible and meeting the indescribable. Yet, somehow you described it! Many thanks. I too might be interested in this, is info available?

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Thanks Pdmorton. Shoot me an email and I'll intro you to the team there :D

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So Alex, I am quite glad I have found you. I had no idea how to send you a direct message if that is even possible (and I am terrible and resistant to tech despite being a writer here). I wanted to say that this email response to me becoming a new subscriber rocked my morning as the brevity and clarity are quite refreshing: (email header: Thanks for subscribing to my Substack) Email content: That's all :D alex kruger .... I came to this article as it seemed as good a place as any to leave a little random comment, and I did read your article, as I have taken a dive into psychedelics and I use mushrooms to talk to God. Also, sometimes dead people talk to me...but with that said, I have had an equal aversion to my ancestors which I recently explored on a very intense mushroom journey. I did attempt to "try" aya once. I met a sweet couple in Costa Rica and drove with them to their house with their three year old and two young herbalists from the US. Turns out the Costa Ricans were part of the Diamante Church, which uses Aya legally. They also prepare it so there is no purging. The three year old played a banjo with her father and they sang spiritual songs. Not a lot happened for me and I followed my intuition and stopped drinking early on. But the experience was memorable. You inspire me with your blatant authenticity which is only funny because it is so unusual in this mostly inauthentic world. I look forward to more of your posts. XO from El Salvador.

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Nov 25, 2023Liked by Alex Kruger

I’m a newly minted fan, and have been reading all your previous work. This is my favourite, so far! One thing that bothered me though - what receptacle was provided in case it wasn’t vomit that was expelled? How did one deal with that eventuality whilst rolling around, untethered to reality, on a yoga mat? Despite this, it sounded fun 😂

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Haha. A tiny trash can. It’s not as interesting as you’d think. You don’t even really notice you’re throwing up. It’s the least of your concerns lol

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I really enjoyed this. So Much. The clarity of the experience (at least what you shared of it, Its possible there were many other aspects you weren't invested in sharing), was interesting, uplifting and transportive. There was a zen in what you wrote, a few small stokes, painting a brilliant and arresting picture of an experience so few have had. As a serial cult joiner (thanks, I'm all better now, just ask me) I can't recognize any real cultishness here, (other than the slope of proffered groupthink buzz words normalizing and familiarity), seeds for their future perhaps . . . I noticed you didn't appear to be say (did I miss it?) whether you would be doing it again (open to it, or outright planning?). I have to say this sounds like a really wonderful experience, and outcome, I'd love to experience it, for my own confrontation of my various "opportunities for growth" that have not, as yet, been fixed. Alas, while cult free of the immensely valuable 12 step programs (I still practice the principles), my 37 years of drug and alcohol abstinence cautions me, if not outright forbids me, from - having - taking, enjoining? such an experience. I do agree that psychedelics seem to be a worthwhile field for real peer reviewed study, the prospects seem quite bright. I'm glad you got value from them (it?) and didn't rule out their possible benefits. I really look forward to more of your writing, it has an ease and warmth rare and wonderful. Thank you.

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Doug! Sorry for responding so late to this. I appreciate your comment. I would love to know what cults you're referring to :)

And yeah, I'd be open to the experience again, one day, if I feel I need it, but it doesn't feel very much like a "chasing the dragon" kind of drug (at least not to me).

I've looked into a ton of twelve step programs out of curiosity and even dialed into a couple of the online ones that seemed relevant to me and I loved the community.

Thanks again for the note :)

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Jun 16, 2022Liked by Alex Kruger

Great article! Can you share where you had this experience and the cost? Im interested in doing this myself.

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Hey Kevin! Email me and I'll send you the details :)

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What is your email please? Thanks.

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May 14Liked by Alex Kruger

Well done! Illuminating, insightful, and hilarious. The brief journal quips interspersed throughout the story give life to the characters.

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Thanks Dookie ♥️

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Apr 13Liked by Alex Kruger

I agree, Kratom is the absolute worst tasting thing I have ever consumed. Even after taking it for over 3 years, it can still make me purge any time while drinking it. They also come in capsules that are easier on the stomach reflex, but they also cost so much more (unless you make your own). But then I end up burping out that wonderful flavor and/or aroma for the next few hours. Which also made me hurl on a few occasions.

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I think it's also not that good for you? I've heard a ton of mixed things on Kratom

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To be fair, I have as well. But then again, what are we to expect when kratom shows promising results for replacing and/or challenging many of big pharma's profitable drugs. Kratom is a natural plant and is far cheaper then big pharma's solutions.

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Apr 7Liked by Alex Kruger

The revelation in DC movies. It all makes sense now.

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Nov 2, 2023Liked by Alex Kruger

Hi Alex - I have been dealing with vestibular issues/dizziness for a couple of years. Your article is great and I would be interested in learning more about where you went, etc. There is no shortage of ayahuasca sites on the internet, having a recommendation from somebody who is/was trying to solve the same health issue would be great. Thx

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Hey Dan! Shoot me a private note and I'll send it over ;)

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Thanks Alex. Really appreciate it. I sent you an email, not sure I had the right email. Let me know if you do not receive.

Thx again.

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Cults:

I was 17 when I was "placed" in a "home" for boys. Cult? well somewhat cult like, or sure. I was there for 16 months, max population at a given time was 18 - usual - was around 10-13. we were sort of on perpetual lockdown. (Couldn't leave, etc) It was a behavioral therapy place akin to Second Genesis, if you know of that. (Lots of "verbal haircuts", - emotional "tear you down to build you back up" approaches. (the place, beneath surface , it was quite . . the picture of "masculine toxicity" - and I bought into that deeply). I got out of there a few months before I turned 19. There was a Religious aspect residents were not obligated participate, I was of the few that did. It consisted of a past residents mother, who basically would visit attendees - and do a "Sunday school" type of curriculum once a week. as a part of that, I took a baptism in my desire to "change" / be "better". approx 4 months after I "got out" I returned to drug use again, and very soon after that I lost my job, dropped out my first year of college (after less than 2 months) Kickedout my house, and was homeless, but selling drugs. after about 9 months of that, I connected, by happen stance wit ha friend from the Boys home, and got back "on the clean & Sober wagon". I relapsed just 1 time, a moon into it, on my birthday, in June, 1985, and have been sober to this day. the other cults along the way - less cultish, but still, alternative - in addition to the 12 step programs (AA, NA) after a few years I began to hang out with "Neo-Pagans" who believed themselves to be "Witches" , a number of years (15?) later I joined a working coven of similar, but much more serious types, who were vastly more organized, and stayed with that for more than a decade. it was very . . . unhealthy for al the reasons cults are, and disbanded not long after I left ( not because of me - the leader was found to be imbibing some pretty serious drugs, and his life spiraled out of control, wrecking the whole thing. After that I began a journey towards atheism. I'm am convinced there is absolutely no god, and doing my best to make sense of the world without dogmatic obligations, and trying met to fill the gaps in what I don't know with nonsense, but to accept it, and the infinitesimal place humanity, and myself occupy in the universe. It's quite satisfying, and humbling. but it was a very long journey to get here.

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Are you going to write about this? I feel like you should.

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If I can write about a hippy woman named Cheryl....you can write about this haha

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