Man Dies from Detox Program and American Fugitive Caught
Kelly Lynn Miller
The arrest this month of Kelly Lynn Miller, 36 from America has re-opened concern about the unregulated detox programs that have been covertly run in Koh Phangan for some time now.
Miller killed a man while driving under the influence in the states. She jumped bail and caught a flight to Thailand in 2009. Once in Thailand she threw away her passport to try and cover her tracks.
Eventually she ended up in Koh Phangan answering to the name Brea. She is believed to have been the third member of a group that included fellow Americans Mike Picone and Victor Cracknell that were involved in a lucrative and controversial detox program.
In Thailand the drug Ibogaine is permitted. It is made from the bark of the iboga tree found in West Africa. The drug is illegal in many countries. In Africa the taking of iboga was linked to certain rituals. However, the drug derived from the tree is believed by some to be able to cure addiction. The drug is hallucinogenic and is thought to give people insights into the reasons for their addictions.
In October 2014 Brodie Smith and Kara Spark arrived in Koh Phangan. They checked into Phangan Utopia in Haad Thong. They had come because Smith firmly believed that he needed Ibogaine to beat his addiction to hard drugs. His girlfriend, Kara Spark paid $5300 to Picone, Cracknell and Miller to get the Ibogaine detox treatment.
The accounts of what happened next are unclear. Brodie Smith died on his first day of treatment. Picone and the investigating police claim that Smith injected drugs that he had smuggled into Thailand just prior to beginning his treatment. They claim that Kara Spark handed in a syringe found in her boyfriend’s room.
Kara Spark denied finding a syringe and insists that her boyfriend’s death was the result of the Ibogaine treatment and not illegal drugs.
As a result of the publicity surrounding the death of Brodie Noel Smith Kelly Lynn Miller was recognised by British journalist Alex Drummond. Miller was not held by the Koh Phangan police over the Brodie death. She fled and reappeared in Koh Lanta where was arrested. She is expected to face repatriation to the USA shortly.
The story reveals the seedy side of the detox industry. I Begin Again at http://ibogainethailand.com/ is a well-made but vague site. It is vague about where in Koh Phangan the detox centre is. It is vague about who is operating the centre and what qualifications they have. It is curious how the police in Thailand and especially in Koh Phangan who are very keen to catch people taking drugs and yet consider the taking of Ibogaine not worthy of attention or further investigation. Beware of devils posing as gurus.