Iboga is basic to the Bwiti cult and other secret societies in central Africa, Gabon and Congo, one joins the cult by "seeing Bwiti - or consuming great quantities of iboga root.
Like the Native American Church, the Bwiti religion or Nyiba-eboka is growing strong - the members claim that iboga helps them "resist the transition from the individualism of tribal society to the loss of identity in the encroaching Western civilization." Harvard University Profession Richard Evans Schultes believes the Bwiti cult to be the strongest single force against the missionary spred of Christianity and Islam.
The root bark is rasped and eaten, in one of two ways. Either in limited and regular doses, perhaps at the start of the ceremony, and later in a more massive "break open the head" session, which borders on a dear-death experience. Indeed death sometimes occurs - as the desired near coma state is where the soul or shadow wanders in the land of the dead. In lower doses it's a strong stimulant and time-distorter and in higher doses complete auditory, olfactory and gustatory synaesthesia occurs. The iboga plant contains more than a dozen interesting indole alkaloids, with ibogaine being the most important.