Flying Sporran’s Midweek Diary

Picture – Coconuts – Woolsey with Trink

I was slightly intrigued by the interview by young Canadian ‘video journalist’ Barbara Woolsey on ‘Coconuts’ of the Bangkok Post’s legendary former entertainment columnist Bernard Trink that I decided to dig a little bit further.

Anyone who can lead on the story that Trink in his rounds of the Bangkok a-go-go bars slept with a leper has got to be worth watching.

Trink for those not here ran the Post’s ‘Nite Owl’ column which gave reviews of go-go bars.  He was formerly on ‘Bangkok World’ where he even gave the girls a ‘rating’. At 83 years old, we are told, he is still watching porn.

Naturally he had to go.

Babs on Facebook

Anyway Barbara Woolsey, who appears to flip between Berlin and Bangkok, is something of a video star and had recently been down on Koh Phangan where she had filmed the treatment of former methadone and heroin addicts.

Yes. I know you may be thinking why would anyone want to set up such a treatment centre on Koh Phangan?

Would it be possible that the owners like the lifestyle and the Full Moon parties in the centre of tourist Thailand’s drug universe?

 (Walter ‘Whacky’ Douglas had set up businesses here before he was accompanied back to Britain late last year).

Or is there a captive market?

Coconuts chart – This is not a scientific study

Anyway here on Koh Phangnan, reveals Canadian Barbara, two guys who look like they have had a background in drugs have started a programme administering doses of the root bark of an African tree which they say cures 80 per cent of addicts who come to them for treatment.

Ibogaine, we are told, can be fatal (and there have been deaths) so Mike and Victor closely monitor what goes on. This seems to be watching their patients’ blood pressure while the patients are tripping on the African hallucinogenic, meanwhile taking copious notes.

‘It reprogrammes your subconscious,’ says Mike. ‘It’s like having your hard drive de-fragmented and then having a completely new operating system installed,’ adds Victor.

It appears that Ibogaine-Thailand, as these guys call themselves, do not have premises, and seem to treat ‘patients’ at a resort hotel.

There is no doctor around so I am guessing that ‘one of the only ibogaine treatment centres in south east asia’ is not registered anyway. But wait, above they claim they are licensed although they do not say what licence they have. They certainly cannot be licensed to treat patients with a drug which is not approved by the Ministry of Health.

Not having a doctor may be because it adds to the expense, raises the profile of the operation to the wrong people, or simply because society has not formally accepted the benefits of ibogaine which is banned in the United States, France and Denmark, Sweden, Belgium….  Thailand has made no decision. If not properly monitored ibogaine can be fatal we are told.

Actually Koh Phangan is an ideal location for other reasons. So many people die there that one more death of a foreigners overdosing would not even merit a second glance.

But let’s not be cynical here. The two patients filmed Broc and John announced later they had been cured. It was nothing short of a miracle.

Broc – space cadet

‘It’s a gift from god’ announces Victor.

Broc, who has ‘Amabilis Insania’ (A fine frenzy) tattooed on a forearm. and who is an absolute space cadet having overdosed on heroin  20 times describes his 24 hour trip as scary.

‘But I popped out of there. Every issue is clear. I do not know how but I don’t care.’ And later ’What a beautiful day’. The birds are singing.

John, not his real name, who the programme states was a doctor in London, is even more euphoric.

‘John’ Doctor?

In an interview recorded from Coconuts’ Bangkok headquarters he says:

“I’ve been given a second chance in life. I’m just very grateful.”   

John, who said he had been sexually abused as a kid by three adults had found a ‘new me’.  And he liked it.

Brocs treatment was ‘sponsored’ by Ibogaine-Thailand.

What Ibogaine-Thailand does not have on the net is a permanent address or a price list. But traditionally rehabilitation treatments for drug addicts do not come cheap in Thailand – usually tens of thousands of dollars in spas, converted from resorts which have not been doing so well.

Often the treatment is supplied by former drugs addicts, but one guy exposed on this site, was not so much a former drug addict but an active user of ‘ice’. He claimed a 90 per cent success rate at his Channah Clinic which moved from Kanchanaburi to Koh Chang.

I am not pretending to be an authority on ibogaine. Those curious might wish to search the internet by googling ibogaine works or ibogaine – it does not work! Then search ‘colloidal-nano-minerals’.


As for Barbara and ‘Coconuts’ I can only say this. When reporting on miracle cure drug programmes please adopt an attitude of more healthy cynicism. I am making no accusations.

But this video was an open plug for an unregistered and uncontrolled treatment programme by people administering drugs which are not approved and in some countries banned on an island known for its lack of medical facilities . 

If somebody dies where will you be? I am no friend of avaricious pharmaceutical companies who appear to be the enemies here, or are they? Is the real enemy common sense?




About the Author

Andrew Drummond

Andrew Drummond is a British independent journalist and occasional television documentary maker. He is a former Fleet Street, London, journalist having worked at the Evening Standard, Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, News of the World, Observer and The Times.

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