New Website Details Abuse Allegations Against German Psychedelic Practitioners

Russell HausfeldNovember 11, 2021

A new website — whoisjoeschraube.com — alleges that Joe Schraube and Miguel Delgado have taken advantage of positions of power and abused people under the influence of psychedelics.

Pictured: Joe Schraube (left) and Miguel Delgado (right)

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On November 10, 2021, a group of concerned individuals published the website, whoisjoeschraube.com, detailing alleged misconduct and harms caused by two men involved in the German psychedelic scene: Joe Schraube and Miguel Delgado (also known as Miguel Martinez). 

Delgado, who leads psychedelic retreats that he describes as “entheogen sexual balancing,” appears to be creating his own retreat space in Mexico and has allegedly abused a number of clients. Schraube who has been involved in a number of European psychedelic organizations including Psychedelic Society Germany has been accused of using psychedelics and his positions of power to coerce women into sexual relations. Schraube has also promoted Delgado’s retreats and created a campaign attempting to discredit an individual who came forward about Delgado’s abusive behavior.

Intro on Miguel Delgado’s Facebook page.

Testimonies shared with Psymposia prior to the publication of this website detailed a number of disturbing instances in which Delgado is said to have led unprofessional ceremonies and abused participants. 

The reports presented to Psymposia detailed Delgado verbally abusing ceremony participants; allowing minors to participate in drug ceremonies; making sexual advances towards participants (including minors); serving large doses of psychedelics to minors; losing track of participants during ceremony and not bothering to look for them; taking drugs like ayahuasca and rapé in large doses with participants; discrediting participants’ negative experiences; and interpreting participants’ psychedelic experiences for them, before they’d had time to process their own experiences. 

One of the website creators, Nadja Schollenberger, was introduced to Delgado through one of Schraube’s events. After having a negative experience at an ayahuasca retreat hosted by Delgado in 2018 in which the organizers used psychedelics, lost control of the situation, and left Schollenberger completely unattended (she spent the “whole night outdoors without anyone ever checking on [her]”) — Schollenberger spoke out on Facebook. 

She approached Schraube with her own testimony and the testimonies of others who had shared their negative experiences about Delgado, but she said Schraube seemed to want nothing to do with the issue.

It was not until two years later when Schollenberger and a few other organizers started a new group called Psychedelic Society Berlin, without Schraube that Schraube decided to investigate Delgado. According to Schollenberger, the individuals whose testimonies she had presented to Schraube in confidence two years earlier were contacted by Schraube out of the blue and asked to detail their abuse. Schraube also passed some individuals’ contact information on to Delgado, who contacted them.

The result of Schraube’s investigation was turned into a web page hosted by Psychedelic Society Germany and titled “Protected: criticism or projection? The case of Nadja Schollenberger vs Miguel Martinez” (translated from German) attempting to discredit Schollenberger’s claims and defending Delgado. The page contains a number of positive testimonies from people close to Delgado, including his romantic partner. 

The site includes a meme at the top of the homepage which depicts a bicyclist, captioned “taking a psychedelic,” sabotaging himself by jamming a stick (representing his “unwillingness” to change his “toxic behavior patterns”) into the spokes of his bike. The final panel shows the bicyclist on the ground, clutching his leg, proclaiming, “I HAD A BAD TRIP.” This meme is essentially saying that people’s bad trips result from their unwillingness to change  their own “toxic behavior patterns.” In the context of the web page, this appears to place blame on those claiming to have had bad experiences and dismiss their allegations.

Meme from Psychedelic Society Germany website.

The creators of the Psychedelic Society Germany web page also criticize Schollenberger’s approach to exposing abuse, implying that the matter of abuse should have been dealt with in private, not online, stating, “Something like this should be clarified among the two, why is this here on the net?”

The Psychedelic Society Germany investigation concluded by stating that “not a single witness confirms Nadia’s reports.” 

However, based on the testimonies reviewed by Psymposia and now available on whoisjoeschraube.com, this is untrue. There are a number of testimonies backing up Schollenberger’s accusations about Delgado’s behavior. Schollenberger told Psymposia that people who did speak to Schraube about negative experiences with Delgado were left off the Psychedelic Society Germany web page. This claim is supported by testimony on whoisjoeschraube.com. 

The creators of whoisjoeschraube.com articulate their respect for the time Schraube has put in to create space for conversations about psychedelics in Germany. They note, “It is not our intention to dismiss all that he has done for the psychedelic scene.” But they have had experiences with Schraube and heard “several common allegations against Joe Schraube” which they cannot remain silent about any longer. 

This website was created as an act of harm reduction after years of attempting to discuss and expose the behaviors of Schraube and Delgado through other channels and after repeated attempts to discredit abuse victims by the two men. 

“We established this website as a vehicle for telling the truth: a sharing platform which serves as a channel to give voice to those that have been harmed, provide a record of past abuse, and a container for personal recognition, collective healing and community building,” the website states. 

The creators of whoisjoeschraube.com believe that allegations like those being raised about Schraube and Delgado both of whom act as gatekeepers to psychedelic drugs and social networks should be taken very seriously as psychedelic medicine becomes more popular and mainstream. 

“Renewed possibilities in research, increased interest and acceptance in broader society, and political advancement in certain regions of the world are contributing to [what is deemed a psychedelic renaissance],” the whoisjoeschraube.com website states. “This surge in interest also increases the likelihood of encountering issues within the community; more people means more perspectives, more ways of behaving, and a greater diversity of beliefs. Though this is something that is desired and needed for the inclusion of all, as well as inspiring development, it also opens the floor to adverse encounters or social predicaments. We believe that in order for the psychedelic community to flourish, criticality and the willingness to learn from mistakes is crucial, as is the integration of social justice principles.”

Psymposia reached out to Schraube and Delgado for comment. As of publishing, neither of them have responded.

Schraube did respond to the Facebook post of a member of the Psychedelic Society Berlin who was involved with the whoisjoeschraube.com project. 

Schraube referenced his investigation into Delgado, and claimed he “made it [his] job to investigate these cases and heard over 30 witness reports. Surprisingly, they all agreed, Nadia is a bit crazy, there may be these rapes on Aya, but only in her head (Translated from German).” Schraube claims no one he interviewed could back up Schollenberger’s claims about Delgado’s bad behavior—particularly allegations of rape. However, as noted above, there is now a whole website of testimonies which corroborate Schollenberger’s claims about Delagado’s behavior. Schollenberger said that she raised concerns about Delgado’s inappropriate sexual behavior and misuse of power, but never specifically about rape. 

Concluding his statement, Schraube writes: “Why have I spent several days / now weeks with this shit? Why has this topic been busy for 3 years ( ! ) so many people ? Why do so few simply ask: is that true? A court will now have to clarify it and Nadia can then finally name her witnesses…I’m excited and happy to not have anything to do with this anymore (Translated from German).”

Schollenberger responded: “We are very happy to clarify all this in court Joe. I’m looking forward to it (Translated from German).” 

Full testimonies about abuse and misconduct by Schraube and Delgado may be found here

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Russell Hausfeld

@RussellHausfeld
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Russell Hausfeld is Senior Writer for Psymposia and an investigative journalist and illustrator living in Cincinnati, Ohio. He has a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Religious Studies from the University of Cincinnati.