Ayahuasca International • Inner Mastery International

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Ayahuasca International (originally Ayahuasca Internacional), aka Inner Mastery International S.L.U. (often referred to as Inner Mastery) consisting of an infamous (see "Disturbing reports" below) ayahuasca retreat network of interlocking companies marketed on web sites, and social media groups that the founder Alberto José Varela himself refers to as “the first multinational corporation dedicated to Ayahuasca”. Ayahuasca International has marketed themselves by starting many national Facebook groups.

Disturbing reports associated with Ayahuasca International

Alberto José Varela and Ayahuasca International

Ayahuasca International (originally Ayahuasca Internacional) is also known as Inner Mastery International S.L.U.

Important: Always look for motivations and many recommendations prior to choosing who to drink with!

For reports and resources concerning activities from disrespectful to unethical to downright horrible, see the following links:

  • Official ICEERS statement: Cofán speaking out against Varela’s activities and they say he has had absolutely NO training through them, nor any of his facilitators with Ayahuasca International; that he forged documents and has lied about many associations, such as having any sort of blessing from this indigenous group of true Colombian shamans or their peoples.
  • Sexual abuse testimony, and reported unorthodox practices with his small daughter around often; Cofán speaking out about his illegitmacy, as he claims to have been blessed and trained by these people; Varela’s own psychologist, who sounded a bit unorthodox himself, reportedly pushing for sexual exploration as well, is said to no longer be by Varela’s side due to Varela’s lack of ethics.
  • Very interesting article detailing many astounding and unsafe practices of Varela, such as offering the tea to everyone without any sort of screening or preparation, has highly advertised an illegal practice for monetary gain, including discounts for children; it is questioned where he sources his brew and whether it is in fact ayahuasca; certainly Varela’s commercial efforts are terrible for sustainability of these sacred medicines.
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I have not attended a retreat with Aya Int. aka Inner Mastery. Luckily, it did not come to this. I did however have very disturbing email contact with one of the company´s facilitators (Aaron Kilburn) which revealed an extremely unprofessional, totally chaotic organisation, a real liability that should never be working in this field. Their drive for profit making seems to be centre stage, and they do not care the least about their guests, providing no rules whatsoever, having a total disregard for safety, ethics and integrity. Earlier this year, their facilitator, Aaron, who is responsible for answering queries for people wanting to attend retreats, urged me to book ASAP "as retreats fill up quickly". Only after I paid did I find out that he neither knew where some of the retreats they offered were held, nor if there were any accommodations (they expect attendants to sleep in the ceremony room where you stay with everyone for three days!!). Furthermore, there was no transport to and from the place which meant you needed to book a car and drive a day after ceremony (if you are not an experienced Aya drinker, a highly dangerous endeavour in my opinion). Adding to this, he encouraged me to take part in ceremonies in Ireland where it’s illegal to do Aya while their website proudly states they only take Aya where it’s legal. When I asked for a refund, I was told Aya Int. never give refunds. What a scam! I wanted to leave a review on Googlereviews or Retreatguru, but that was not possible. And, as expected, on all of their FB pages the option to leave comments is disabled. Then I saw the horrible stories on your website and was shocked about other people's experiences. I was lucky that my alarm bells rang way before I actually attended a retreat. Having said that, my money for three days Aya plus Kambo retreat are lost. Re Sexual Harassment: When I spoke to the facilitator, Aaron, by phone to answer some of my questions on how they work and their safety, his behaviour was quite creepy, telling me he was keen to meet me, and this is why he wanted me to attend the Ireland retreat instead of the one in Germany. When I pointed out that I thought this was a little inappropriate and asked how their organisation sees staff hitting on/getting involved with guests, he sent me long emails in which he elaborated on how he "encourages me to explore my sexual issues". When I looked on the Aya Int. website and saw a photo of him, I realised he is in his early 20s. I am in my late 40s and have worked in the healing/counselling setting for several years which makes his analysis of me and my inner workings even more incredible. Aya Int. should not be dealing with any people at all, and most certainly not in the area of healing and with sacred medicine! Their facilitator is extremely immature and has had zero counselling or psychological training, yet was patronisingly and intrusively analysing me in depth after I stated his behaviour made me feel uncomfortable. I would like to end on a good note stating that the best and safest place to experience Aya, for me, is still Bluemorphotours.com, where I have attended multiple retreats and always had amazing experiences. Their integrity and professionalism is outstanding, and their shamans and all of their staff are truly incredible. I was looking for a place nearer to home and this is why I contacted Aya Int.
Please, stay away! - visited 4 months ago
Warning to anyone thinking of working with these people
I've been to several Inner Mastery retreats across Europe over the last few years and have honestly never had a bad experience with them. They are kind and friendly, they vet everybody thoroughly, the accommodation is split male and female and is very comfortable, the houses are beautiful, the food is delicious, and everyone seems to be having a productive, spiritual and beautiful experience. These retreats helped me change my life for the better. I hope people look beyond the bad press, a lot of which just seems to be rooted in fear. I have nothing but love and gratitude for these guys.