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MA’AT Brings Sexual Assault Advocacy to the Psychedelics and Wellness Spaces

The psychedelics and wellness spaces have a major sexual assault problem, but now there’s a community organization taking action.

DoubleBlind Mag

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Updated July 2, 2024

Ok, I’ll say it: Psychedelics and wellness cultures have a sexual assault problem. It’s a giant elephant in the room that no one wants to address—because of “love and light,” and fear of “destroying the movement”—despite how rampant the issue is. At the beginning of May, Mikaela de la Myco, an activist, educator, and mother, announced the launch of the Matriarchal Alliance for Accountability and Transparency (MA’AT), an organization representing collective voices harmed by predatory practitioners in the psychedelics and wellness spaces.

MA’AT (pronounced ma-AUGHT) is the Egyptian goddess of truth, justice, balance, reciprocity, and order—all of which are central to the organization’s mission. The concept of MA’AT also outlines the elements of ethics. 

“This has been a longtime dream,” Mikaela tells DoubleBlind. “MA’AT is the consciousness of balance and divine order in ethics and philosophy, and it’s facilitated through a diasporic African and Egyptian framework, which is what the wellness and psychedelic community need so deeply.”

READ: Using Psychedelics to Heal from Sexual Trauma

There is currently no regulating force within the psychedelics or wellness spaces, especially when it comes to holding practitioners accountable. Survivors of mental, physical, and sensual abuses are left to fend for themselves, even after highly dysregulating experiences. 

“We called this action together to support survivors of predatory practitioners because many have been arising,” Mikaela says. “We helped bring together the Tapped Out Coalition in 2023 to address the allegations and harms by Undrea Wright of The Ancestor Project, and I’m seeing that an overarching body and regulating force of balance is necessary for the multitude of cases that have recently surfaced and are going to continue cropping up in this niche grey area community.”

MA’AT is currently focused on holding a spiritual coach and influencer accountable who has caused financial and sensual harm to at least three women who have come forward with similar stories. You can learn more about it here: podcast, article, and GoFundMe.

MA’AT is also a push for the rematriation of the grey area psychedelics community. The most accessible facilitation of psychedelic medicines occurs in the underground—including most psychedelic therapy because it’s still technically an illegal practice in most regions of the world. Ayahuasca and mushroom ceremonies are also lumped into this underground culture in the West. 

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“The vision is to oversee in very active ways the needs of survivors by holding and bringing to account the actions and reputations of people moving through our space,” Mikaela says. “This transparency is a different kind of approach to disclosure work, which is pretty unique and rare.”

Of course, there are organizations that offer services to survivors. But Mikaela explains that, often, those services don’t take action or support survivors in inspired action, which is where MA’AT differs from other survivor advocacy groups. One of the tangible offerings of MA’AT is to create a public record of practitioners who’ve committed abuses that people can search for and reference before attending ceremony or entering into a coaching container with them.

“MA’AT is geared towards holding survivors by bringing their stories forward in order to bring perpetrators’ reputations current, and databasing and cataloging the experiences of survivors as a form of disclosure work,” Mikaela says. “It’s a different approach than some organizations take. Our goal is to actively change how we deal with survivors and how we work with survivors.”

MA’AT is part of an ecosystem of education and training of sensual assault advocates in order to make the wellness and psychedelics spaces saturated with survivor literacy. “I felt very called to start this as the survivor leg of sensual assault advocacy through a more active and inspired approach to helping survivors’ stories come forward in a way that might create actionable change,” Mikaela says.

The psychedelics and wellness spaces are massively unregulated. This lack of infrastructure is one of the main reasons why sensual harms happen at the rate they do. “We are dealing with a Wild West of charlatans and people who see an opportunity here to swindle others without much consequence,” Mikaela says. “The sexwork space, the intimacy care space also experiences this heightened level of violence; these are spaces that have a higher percentage of women participants. People seeking out wellness, psychedelics, and therapeutic care also seem to be disproportionately women, so I think that also increases the targeting.”

READ: Sexual Abuse in Psychedelic Therapy: Important Steps Being Taken to Support Survivors

But, the involvement of substances, particularly empathogens that enhance feelings of empathy, sociability, and trust, complicates things. “Because we are also dealing with mostly illegal substances, a person’s inclination to want to go to law enforcement is greatly decreased,” says Mikaela. “If there is an experience of sensual assault, then the likelihood of women coming forward is even more decreased.”

Mikaela is also the co-creator of ECO Sensual with Brittany Jade Wilson, an Indigenous herbalist, midwife, and educator. Eco Sensual is a trauma informed certification trainig that offers a trauma-informed curriculum with an emphasis on how to identify predatory practitioners, how to work with plants to support emotional, sexual, and spiritual trauma, and resources for physical, legal, and mental health support. 

MA’AT team putting together care packages for survivors

The program is designed for survivors and those who want to integrate a trauma-informed lens to better support people who have experienced harm in the wellness or psychedelics spaces. It’s also structured for those who feel called to become facilitators or practitioners. 

“We see the vision of ongoing education as necessary to the prevention of and as a way to address these harms,” Mikaela says. “The Eco Sensual curriculum is an offering to the community in response to the growing need for sensual assault literacy in the wellness and psychedelic community.”

While MA’AT as an organization may be new to the psychedelics, wellness, and coaching communities, it is not a new concept. It’s ancient, but its elements—of justice, reciprocity, truth, righteousness, respect, balance, and order—have largely been missing from the conversation in the psychedelics and wellness spaces. 

“MA’AT is not someone that we worship, it’s something that we do and strive to do,” Mikaela says. “This is my version of MA’AT, but there are many versions of MA’AT, all of which are centered around how to be a decent person on this earth, which is seen in the teachings of MA’AT. These are the principles we stand on.”

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