Sunday, December 21, 2008

Howard Lotsof's College Ibogaine Lecture - Part 1/3

Howard Lotsof gave a lecture in an auditorium at the CUNY College of Staten Island on Ibogaine.

The event was hosted by English professor Michael Christian who assembled a group of over 100 eager college students from his classes along with some from a psychology class at CSI. The students listened attentively, hanging in silence to every word Howard uttered. It was the first time I'd seen so many college 20-somethings hear Howard talk -- far from the stuffy, uptight, high-brow academic bourgeoisie at the scientific conferences I'd attended in the past where Howard was invited to present. Instead of sneering skepticism bordering on derision, these young people were transfixed by Howard's first hand account; indeed, anyone would be who actually listen.

Howard was animated and excited. I'd heard every recollection many times before; the difference here was Howard's obvious enthusiasm and zeal. Like a man spinning a yarn to sailors trapped in the bowels of a container freighter pitching and yawing in a raging storm in the Atlantic, Howard took command of his crew and captivated these young impressionable minds. They greeted him warmly and applauded in a hearty lion roar at the end.

At the conclusion Howard stood up, clapping with the audience, smiling ear to ear, like the 6 foot thin as a toothpick leprechaun he is. He grasped victory in his palm and almost made a "V" with one hand and a thumbs up with the other. He sensed his words would spread virally from these minds. He had done his job admirably and once again planted the seeds that would sprout new roots for generations to come.

Michael originally contacted me to give a talk to his students in the classroom because he came across this blog and believed I was some kind of authority on the subject of ibogaine. I immediately emailed him back and urged him to contact Howard directly. I explained, "Why invite a sailor who sailed the Santa Maria as a bottle washer when you could get Christopher Columbus himself?" Michael did not disagree. A few weeks later, the stage was set for Howard's dashing entrance. The Staten Island press corp was present, along with a video crew. This was going to be seen beyond these hallowed halls. My videotaping this event would ensure thousands more would be invited to the celebration.

It is heartwarming for me to see my good friend basking in the warmth and adulation of these young minds. I will always remember this day and will tell my grandchildren about it someday, and they theirs.

Hell, they can even watch the video below and witness it themselves. The heck with me! Who do I think I am, anyways (a mole on the butt of a beluga circling Antarctica is who!)?

Click here for Michael's Christian's original press release.

Click here for the post-lecture press release and an early video interview with Howard.

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