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***See below for a complete topic breakdown.***
Can ayahuasca heal the severe PTSD experienced by military veterans? What impact does that ayahuasca healing have on a veteran’s relationship to military politics and their impact on the world?
As for the first question, apparently yes.|There is a growing number of stories emerging from veterans who found relief from the post-traumatic stress disorder they developed due to their military service.
As for the second question, about the impacts of ayahuasca healing on a veteran’s relationship to military politics, well… that’s much more complicated.
Thankfully, we have Jesse Gould on the show to explore both of these questions with us.
Jesse is the CEO and founder of Heroic Hearts Project, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that helps veterans who are interested in pursuing psychedelic treatment options, through reputable ayahuasca retreat centers. Their program is designed to ensure veterans get the most out of this valuable opportunity and are set up for success when they return home, and they also provide financial scholarships to veterans who are struggling financially. To date, they have provided more than $200,000 in support to veterans applicants.
Jesse started Heroic Hearts Project back in 2017 to spearhead the acceptance and use of ayahuasca therapy as a means of addressing the current mental health crisis among veterans. A cause he was called to as a consequence of his own experience of PTSD after having been deployed as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan three times and finding profound healing from that PTSD through ayahuasca.
Jesse is on the show for this episode to talk about his own battle with PTSD and his recovery through ayahuasca therapy. We also talk about the challenges of integrating back into civilian life after combat, the tragic mental health and suicide statistics amongst veterans, and the role Heroic Hearts Project is playing to help those veterans.
More than that though, and in response to the second question presented above, Jesse and I speak about what it’s like as a soldier to find out that their government lied to justify the war they were traumatized by being in; the impact of military expansionism on the climate crisis; whether or not “the psychedelic cure” will be used by governments to justify continuing war; and, whether or not ayahuasca healing has any noticeable effects on one’s political stance on the military.
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- What is Heroic Hearts Project?
- The mental health crisis amongst veterans
- The two extreme realities of veterans’ life though
- The challenges of becoming a civilian after being made a soldier
- Jesse’s journey from the Military, through PTSD, and to ayahuasca
- Harming and self-harming amongst veterans
- The mismanagement of mental health care on behalf of the Veteran Associations
- Jesse’s journey into ayahuasca and what he learned
- A powerful story of a Veteran’s transformation out of PTSD through ayahuasca
- The crisis of meaning when a soldier learns that the reason they were at war was based on lies
- Does ayahuasca change a veteran’s perspective on the military-industrial complex?
- Does ayahuasca change a veteran’s perspective on the military, itself?
- No, psychedelics do not fundamentally alter your political views or make you a better person
- Responding to the ecological destruction of the military-industrial complex and military expansionism
- Will “the psychedelic cure” for veteran PTSD be used by the military to justify continuing war
- The shifting cultural tides in the USA regarding kinetic warfare
- What Heroic Hearts is up to now (services and research)