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New Age Frauds & Plastic Shamans

Society & Culture  (tags: American Indians, Native Americans, AIM, Spirituality, americans, corruption, dishonesty, ethics, culture, rights, dishonesty, corruption )

- 2702 days ago -
Do you think you are "Indian at heart" or were an Indian in a past life? Do you admire native ways and want to incorporate them into your life and do your own version of a sweat lodge or a vision quest? Have you seen ads, books, and websites that offer...

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kat yazzie (400)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 6:59 am


kat yazzie (400)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 7:22 am
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, search
Plastic shaman is a pejorative colloquialism applied to individuals who are attempting to pass themselves off as shamans, holy people, or other traditional spiritual leaders, but who have no genuine connection to the traditions or cultures they claim to represent. In some cases, the "plastic shaman" may have some genuine cultural connection, but is seen to be exploiting that knowledge for ego, power or money.[1]

Plastic shamans are believed by their critics to use the mystique of these cultural traditions, and the legitimate curiosity of sincere seekers, for personal gain. In some cases, exploitation of students and traditional culture may involve the selling of fake "traditional" spiritual ceremonies, fake artifacts, fictional accounts in books, illegitimate tours of sacred sites, and often the chance to buy spiritual titles.[1]

Though the term "plastic shaman" originated among Native American and First Nations activists, and is most often applied to people posing as Native American medicine men and women, the term has also been applied to frauds who pose as other types of traditional and alternative healers. People who have been referred to as "plastic shamans" include those believed to be fraudulent spiritual advisors, seers, psychics, or other practitioners of non-traditional modalities of spirituality and healing who are operating on a fraudulent basis.[1]

Critics of plastic shamans believe there is legitimate danger to seekers who place their trust in such individuals. Those who participate in ceremonies led by the untrained may be exposing themselves to various psychological, spiritual and even physical risks. The methods used by a fraudulent teacher may have been invented outright or recklessly adapted from a variety of other cultures and taught without reference to a real tradition. In almost all "plastic shaman" cases a fraud is employing these partial or fraudulent "healing" or "spiritual" methods without a traditional community of legitimate elders to provide checks and balances on their behaviour. In the absence of the precautions such traditional communities normally have in place in regard to sacred ceremonies, and without traditional guidelines for ethical behaviour, abuse can flourish.[1]

Those using the term "plastic shaman" to criticize these sorts of teachers believe that they are also potentially dangerous because they may harm the reputations of the cultures and communities they claim to represent. There is evidence that, in the most extreme cases, fraudulent and sometimes criminal acts have been committed by a number of these imposters. It is also claimed by traditional peoples that in some cases these plastic shamans may be using corrupt, negative and sometimes harmful aspects of authentic practices. In many cases this has led to the actual traditional spiritual elders declaring the plastic shaman and their work to be "dark" or "evil" from the perspective of traditional standards of acceptable conduct.[1]

Plastic shamans are also believed to be dangerous because they give people false ideas about traditional spirituality and ceremonies.[citation needed] In some cases, the plastic shamans will require that the ceremonies are performed in the nude, and that men and women participate in the ceremony together, although such practices are an innovation and were not traditionally followed.[citation needed] Another innovation may include the introduction of sex magic or "tantric" elements, which may be a legitimate form of spirituality in its own right (when used in its original cultural context), but in this context it is an importation from a different tradition and is not part of authentic Native practices.[1]

People have been injured, and some have died, in sweat lodge ceremonies.[2][3]

Many of those who work to expose plastic shamans believe that the abuses perpetuated by spiritual frauds can only exist when there is ignorance about the cultures a fraudulent practitioner claims to represent. Activists working to uphold the rights of traditional cultures work not only to expose the fraudulent distortion and exploitation of Indigenous traditions and Indigenous communities, but also to educate seekers about the differences between traditional cultures and the, often distorted, modern approaches to spirituality.[1]

Sacha Baron-Cohen poked fun at "plastic shamans" in Hollywood who convert to religions merely because they are fashionable. In one sketch as Brüno, he was seen interviewing people in the fashion industry, asking them what religions are trendy, to which they replied that Buddhism is currently trendy and that Roman Catholicism was fashionable recently.[citation needed]

[edit] Terminology"Shaman" is a term which originated in Siberia. Whilst occasionally "shamanism" is used by Native Americans or First Nations groups to explain their traditions to those from other cultures, their spiritual teachers, leaders or elders are generally not called such. The categorisation of diverse cultures' spiritual traditions under the term "shamanism" is seen in anthropology and other disciplines. Geary Hobson sees the New Age use of the term shamanism as a cultural appropriation of Native American culture by "white" people used to distance themselves from their own history.[1]

In Nepal, the term Chicken Shaman is used

Carole Sarcinello (338)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 7:36 am

Oh, bless your heart for this, Kat!

AA S (136)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 7:38 am
Great video, thanks Kat. I think Native American cultures are very interesting, but I'm uncomfortable with them, or stereotypical ideas of them, being effectively turned into tourist attractions while so many First Nations people are still marginalised. It may not be quite such an immediate issue, as I am halfway around the world, but New Age businesses are thriving here too. I will not pay for anything related to the subjugated indigenous culture of any other nation unless it comes direct from the source and has some kind of positive impact. I know I'm sounding a bit uptight about this, but there's so much merchandise especially about the place that just strikes me as offensive and exploitative.

I found a real eye-opener in terms of the sheer malicious intent of some plastic shamans. Very interesting, thanks again.

John C (75)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 7:41 am
Well done Kat!

Richard Zane Smith (81)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 7:54 am
THIS is a serious problem across our land and even in Europe. People who are NOT connected to tribe through family or clan (or honored and known by them) are masquerading as "shamans" "healers" .
They are also derisively known as "shake-n-bake shamans"
Some of these are even sexual predators ,even in the "safe" womb of a sweatlodge.
These aren't always white people,there are fakes among our own native people. One doesn't expose a fake by demanding an CDIB card,but by making some phone calls to their "claimed" tribe and asking about him/her.

But its actually even easier than that:
A true medicine person doesn't seek attention ,advertise or even call to attention his/her "gifts".
People come to them to lead a sweat, a ceremony. I stumbled onto one of these "ceremonies" by accident at Chaco Canyon years ago. I was camped there and heard a drum,so i followed its sound. There was a gathering of people with eyes closed chanting,and singing and when my presence was known the "shaman" rushed up and asked me what i was doing there.He said this was a private meeting andf that people had to sign up to attend. The next day i spoke with a Navajo janitor in the public restrooms, using a little Navajo,and english, he told me about how these kinds of people were always throwing things in the kivas he had to remove.They even dumped peoples ashes in there and he had the task of shoveling them out and putting them in the trash.

Please consider this example from an old Wyandot story:

A known Wyandot healer was approached about the sickness of the couples young daughter.
"I don't know if i can do anything" he said, "Let me go in the woods and fast for (certain number of days) and cry out and maybe then the answer will come. They asked him to do so...and he did.
After that fasting time they came back to visit him and brought their daughter. He asked her "did you go and (do this action?)" she was surprised he knew and admitted she did indeed do it.
The healer told her and the family what had to be done, and when it was done the sickness went away.
The healer was shown exactly what the young girl did and was give the cure. that is hard to fake.

Involving Money is sometimes a give away,but not always.
One can't necessarily judge a person as a fake because they accept money. Among SOME traditionalists the medicine person may not demand it but expects to receive money,jewelry,cattle,horses etc..
there is no such thing as a solitary traditionalist . We are all connected to our communities by families and clans.
Solitary medicine men,even native independent "shamans," shouldn't be trusted if they are unaccountable.

Kate S (17)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 8:37 am
noted and THANKS

Marti Williams (170)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 8:46 am
Thanks Kat...I have a deep and abiding respect for the Native Americans...they have been taken advantage of so much over the years...I hope they can be stopped...

Jeannette A (137)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 9:11 am
Thank you Kat... this is something we all need to see and understand.

This type of thing has been around forever. Whenever there is a legitimate source of good or wisdom, people will seek to claim it as their own. Sometimes, these people are sincere and well-intentioned, just wanting to align themselves with what is right, good, and (as a result) powerful. But more often, there are those who are looking for the scam, for the illusion of good and for the way to part the trusting from their money.

Look at the TV evangelicals riding the airwaves looking for donations for their lavish lifestyles. These plastic Christians are looking to frighten others into sending in money by making them fear for their immortal souls and by making them pay for the "healing" of mind and body.

BUT the act of being rewarded for healing skills does not make one a plastic healer. If a healer gives honestly and generously of themselves, aligning themselves with tradition and nature while working for the benefit of their patient rather than themselves, then the healer deserves to be honored and protected.

Valerie H (133)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 9:17 am
*very interesting* information, thank you for sharing with us....

Carmen S (611)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 9:20 am
Noted and thank you Kat for sharing this.

Angel A (22)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 10:04 am
Thank you for posting this video, Kat - this is something that makes me uncomfortable here in the UK - we have people in England performing so called sweat lodge ceremonies, sundances and pipe ceremonies, none of which are honest and many claiming to be genuine shaman who have been "adopted" by various tribes and every one of these people demanding money from those gullible enough to believe them. While I understand people wanting and needing to find their own paths through life, I cannot condone the many plastic medicine people world-wide who are deliberatley misleading people for money and ego.

I have the greatest respect for the First Nations and have tried to help as much as I can where I see injustice, physical hardship and suffering, I have made friends amongst native people and make no false claims for my own ends. One of my friends sends me the legends and stories passed around at campfires - I love to tell the children stories which show the wisdom and humour shared by the Elders.

The injustice and prejudice that is demonstrated by the various government departments in America against NA peoples and the contempt with which they are still treated in this day and age makes me angry and often ashamed to be associated with my own race. There still seems to be few legal rights for many of the tribes and one of my friends has had her grandchildren taken from the family and adopted out to white people on the flimsiest of reasons. There are some good people who are prepared to fight for the rights of the First Nations, but they are few and far between.

I follow and study the natural ways of nature as far as I can and have been nursing people (and animals) since I was a young girl. I chose to follow the healing path and worked as a nurse until medical problems made it impossible for me to carry on lifting and physical manouvering of patients. Since then I have fostered 32 kids and when that became a political and moral minefield, we began to foster rescue dogs often with health issues. If I have helped to heal or guide children and young people, or brought pain relief to rescue animals, it is because that is the way I was taught by my own mother. I belong to a few groups on the internet run by Native teachers and elders, all which I have been invited to join, and hope that I give the Elders the respect and love they deserve while learning as much as I can to teach my own children and grandchildren the importance of honouring Mother Earth.


Lynn Christy (63)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 11:26 am
wado, Kat... =)

Apolonia Pl (393)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 1:06 pm
Plastic shamans are usually scammers... They became very popular in Europe also. But there are also some genuine shamans from Siberia. Few came over to Poland to heal us and teach their natural medicine and remind us basic spiritual rules. They keep spiritual discipline for theirselfes also... They earn money for their activity, but it's acceptable.

Süheyla C (234)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 1:47 pm
Thanks Kat. Noted

Linda G (187)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 2:25 pm
Thank you Kat. Also noted.

Debbie Hogan (115)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 2:39 pm
Sickening, disrespectful exploitation. I've come across this crap before...Thanks for putting it all out there, Kat.

Jeremy Mathsen (0)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 2:40 pm
Exploitation at its finest, Thanks and Noted!

Roger G (154)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 2:40 pm
yep there are many crooks including in "religious" settings !

Glenda J (158)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 4:25 pm
This is the Experience and beyond explanation all whom ride the trail of unworthiness in due time pays for their weakness in trying to pass upon others..
Upon the grounds of Mother Father Sky we seek to acknowledge the truth that lies between the carving on the walls..
We gather Elders in Spirit and their holiness to keep what is pure intent to be who you are..

Jae A (316)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 7:20 pm
Welcome back Kat. Thanks for sharing this video.

There have been and probably always will be fakes/pastic holy persons in every spiritual/religious tradtion/culture known to man. Todays Televangelist have many of such within their ranks.

Native Americans were 'forced' to all but bring extension to ancestral spiritual beliefs/traditions so is it no wonder that the white mans Christianity has brought this commercial aspect to what was once there for the asking and for free. Those who pretend to be something they are not is of course wrong,for free or otherwise.
That being said,for someone to say that they are passing along information/rituals etc. they have researched and found faith and guidance in themselves,even though they themselves are not Native Americans, would be ok I think. It's that misrepresentation of 'who they are' that is unforgivable and disrespectful of those who are Native American.

To share traditioins and spiritual beliefs is a good thing, to 'charge' others for doing so ... in these cases...questionable, as not in step with that of Native American customs/traditions...
In todays world the two need to find balance in this sharing. Modern religions call theirs 'donations/tithing' ...
[Just a little.. food for though :-) ].

"Creator Invented baloney so some people could be full of it."
"Money may talk, but it still hasn't learned to speak Cherokee."
~Jay Red Eagle (Cherokee)

Penelope Ryan (178)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 9:01 pm
It is sad to see the opposite has ocurred from Native spiritualism being forbidden to the people who practiced it in many areas. Up into the 1960's in Canada. First nations peoples were made to be fearful to practice their own spiritual beliefs. Now we have phonies, passing themselves off as real Shamens to make money. This is not a good situation for the peole who fall victum or the originaltors of these sacred traditions. Native spiritualism is personal and not to be used for monitary scamers. Welcome back Kat.

Sheryl G (360)
Sunday January 30, 2011, 9:24 pm
Good information, wise advice from Richard. One can not buy their stairway to heaven. Too many feel if they pay this big money for a day of chanting and a sweat they will get some instant enlightment or fulfillment. People need to be careful, this isn't palor games, trusting in the fakes could at best leave you short of cash at worse you could end up dead, and some have.

Agnes H (144)
Monday January 31, 2011, 1:06 am
Noted and thank you Kat. I have respect for the Native Americans and try to find out more about their history and learnings, ways of doing so. I have a few books on some Tribes, all different ones. I've learned how a Medicine Man is choosen, that he/she can't just say I want to be that, but they have to be choosen by another.
I admire the Indigenous People in America and here in Australia and both still being treated as if they don't belong although their land was taken from them by MY People (White) I'm ashamed to call myself White as it's always associated with cruelty towards others be it NA or Aboriginals, Jews, and African people.
I would never ever give money out to someone who says they can heal me. or someone of my family, although one of my friends has made someone very close to me not better as she said his illness was too strong, but she has been able to ease his illness down. The attacks he got have gone. I believe in her and trust her as although she doesn't live here in Oz she told me about my husband that someone would come up with a suggestion to make sure whether the pain he gets is really from his heart or not. She told me this last Thursday. The day Les went to see the DR (She didn't know anything about this as even I didn't know) Today Les came to see me and said that the Dr wants him to go for an Angiogram to find out whether there truly IS something wrong with his heart. He told Les they put him under and put a scope through his veins or whatever and that way they can tell everything there is wrong with his heart. How did she know this even before me knowing about this?
I asked her what she wanted for her trouble and she said "Your love and Friendship is enough for me!" She can't tell me how she knew or what she did, but a friend living with her said she'd disappeared into the woods for quite awhile and had nothing to eat, just like I read in a book I was suggested to read and what was said in one of these comments.
I was glad to be put at ease with both of the people I am closest to. Her friend sometimes goes for walks with her in the forests and she just closes her eyes and all the animals come to her without fear or anything. She can stroke them, she's so close to Nature! I'm proud to have you all amongst my friends!

Bon L (0)
Monday January 31, 2011, 2:42 am
Thanks for the info.

Mac R (289)
Monday January 31, 2011, 4:07 am
That was a very well done video, Kat. Excellent. A message that needs to be heard. Thanks for bringing this to us.

People are hungry for spirituality. The vast majority of white people have not even the slightest clue about Native cultures, let alone their esoteric traditions, and these traditions are unique to each tribe and band, though there are a few beliefs that could be called universal. But what I'm saying is, the actual practices are foreign to their eyes, knowing only Christianity and its ceremonies, so they can't be expected to judge hokey crap from true spiritual practice and ceremony.

Perhaps some of the larger Native tribes could confer with each other and put out the word through the metaphysical communities publications and net sites that these plastic shamans are just that, maybe even with the invitation to come and learn the real traditions just for the sake of learning and understanding.

People need to understand that spirituality is a very individual thing. The moment anyone writes a book and tells everyone else that this is the truth and the answer, he has nullified the entire thought, and the corruption just festers from there.

Peoples who pass down verbal traditions do service to their forefathers because the philosophies pass through the filters of the wisest living souls and that very fact keeps the tradition fresh and part of the present realtiy.

Sir Walk F (124)
Monday January 31, 2011, 5:09 am
love it! i know a few of these plastic 'natives'.

Animae C (514)
Monday January 31, 2011, 6:14 am
Love U Kat, Than.q
Do you think you are "Indian at heart"
or were an Indian in a past life?
Do you admire native ways and want to incorporate them into your life
and do your own version of a sweat lodge or a vision quest?
YES to the above!
BUT i'll only trust Sheryl (Dandelion) for REAL advice!

AND the rape of everything Indian continues.....

pain in my Heart

Animae C (514)
Monday January 31, 2011, 6:17 am
You cannot currently send a star to Kat because you have done so within the last week.

Animae C (514)
Monday January 31, 2011, 6:23 am
Agnes H. your quote below...

"I admire the Indigenous People in America and here in Australia and both still being treated as if they don't belong although their land was taken from them by MY People (White) I'm ashamed to call myself White as it's always associated with cruelty towards others......"


Kristy M (70)
Monday January 31, 2011, 6:55 am
Plastics totally aggravate me! Carlos Castaneda was the worst of the worst. Not much better than people like Laurel Rose Wilson who claimed to be a Saranic abuse surviour, then a Holocaust surviour. These types also show up in occult circles. If you can, read Aleister Crowley's "Rosicrucian Scandal" for an account of his own run-ins with such people. And of course we all remember Miss Cleo...

I have a story of my own that this brings to mind. I had this "friend" back in high school who was always trying to tear me down and prove herself better than me. One of the things she did was go on about how she was more Native than me because her grandfather was supposedly a Navajo shaman, while mine was just a Cherokee coal-miner. Frankly, I think she was lying through her teeth. Her mother also claimed to read my aura and said she could tell that I was a horrible person and everyone should stay away from me. Sure! Which one of us was the two-timing, boyfriend-stealing liar who went out of her way to turn her friends against each other? Not me!

Deborah B (72)
Monday January 31, 2011, 12:11 pm
Thanks, Kat. Welcome back. And sadly, too, I have noticed 'healers' take money and abuse beliefs of other religions and traditions. Thanks to foreclosures here, the New Age store around the corner that was booming business for years is now a huge glass rectangle.

Barbara D (70)
Monday January 31, 2011, 12:41 pm
Some of us are old enough to remember when middle eastern transcendentalist/new age gurus were fashionable in the 60's and 70's. The Beatles followed one in particular until they found out about his Rolls Royces and frolics with nubile young groupies, which sort of clashed with his pontificating about indifference to material things and the importance of purity in one's life. Ah, the more things change...

The best way to detect a wolf/shaman in sheep's clothing is to look at the fruits of their lives. What are they like when the spotlight is turned off???

Justin R (0)
Monday January 31, 2011, 12:53 pm
At the Winter Olympic 2010 in Vancouver Canada most "Native" products were Made In China.
Needless to say, I did not spend a penny!

. (1)
Monday January 31, 2011, 1:08 pm
My "great" Grandmother had at least one grandparent of Cherokee decent. This person was a mystery to me, there are no pictures or storys she told or showed me. My grandfather looks like alot like a cherokee man, native man.
I can sorta understand the white mans longing for some connection, Yet there are scammers out there preying off of this missing puzzle piece in so many lives.

Gloria H (88)
Monday January 31, 2011, 2:40 pm
I question the validity of channelers period. Speaking in strange accents, hissing like snakes and having retreats in Hawaii for an arm and a leg. I know people who drop everything they are doing to run to a meeting request of a channeler of alien beings. The "wisdom" spewed out is commonsense available for a not so common dollar.
I hold most self claimed people of religious truth in the same category as Jim Jones- to be held up to the light and under a strong microscope.

patricia lasek (317)
Monday January 31, 2011, 3:16 pm
They remind me of television evangelists. A liar is a liar no matter what religion they claim to follow.

Richard Zane Smith (81)
Monday January 31, 2011, 4:57 pm

If Europeans had come here to assimilate into our tribe, it would have been a different story. (We adopted people just like Swedes might adopt a Brit.)There would be strict accountability,because a fake medicine person was put to death. One of the few death penalties that ever happened among my ancestors. When small pox started spreading and the Jesuits were blaming our medicine people for the cause of it, there was a declaration made in our Wendat villages that if anyone killed one of those Blackrobes it would be ok and nobody would say anything. Those missionaries had no idea how close they walked with death. Blackrobes would enter a longhouse,see a sick child and secretly try to throw a little water on the child chanting some unknown tongue ,but our people just knew they were "okie" and needed to be disposed of,but nobody ever did.

Medicine people i know never "dress-up-ndn" because healing has nothing to do with appearances or even manufacturing a "wow" experience. thats all show biz and stage effects. Our creator Tsestah created good people, and his twin Taweskareh, thought he'd try ,but all his attempts to create a people failed and they turned out to be monkeys. Someone said "you'll know them by their fruit" ...and thats true, but usually by that time they've already done some damage. Better to verify their tribal credentials and then make some phone calls, before taking their medicine.

We had one of these guys messing with some of our ancestors remains in OHio.(seems to be a breeding ground for fake ndns) He called in the media during a "repatriation" of those ancestor remains. Two years later his re-burials were all coming to the surface ...they were all wrapped in ancestors bones in plastic bags! plastic for a plastic shaman. When we finally checked his credentials ,it turned out he was convieniently "Shawnee" to inquiring Wyandots, and then "Wyandot" to any inquiring Shawnees . They are also MANY Native disconnects out there too,just winging it.
there is no floating aura around Indians! Native Americans can be just as fake and just as greedy,mean and deceptive as anyone else. sorry, Just because someone has an Indian in their family tree doesn't make them "more spiritual".

Melody Aragorn (135)
Monday January 31, 2011, 5:40 pm
‘Certain things catch your eye, but pursue only those that capture your heart’. Such was the teaching and the wisdom of the natives.. Honor their teaching for it’s a world of wisdom…everything a native did was based on the philosophy ‘We are made from Mother Earth and we go back to Mother Earth’.. Their wisdom and culture needs to be respected and honored..

Alice B (241)
Monday January 31, 2011, 6:08 pm
I have been honored and touched to be an invited guest at First Nations sweat lodge ceremonies, healing ceremonies, and private family prayer ceremonies. On the flipside I have been appalled when someone I was acquainted with as married into my extended family, now thankfully an ex of a relative, damaged her psyche and became a spiritual predator, after taking part in a white-persons' "coven" [sic] that used 'adapted' [sic] sweatlodge 'experiences.' This woman knew I didn't want to have anything to do with her; she forced a nasty 'hug' on me in which she pressed herself onto me frontally. She knew that I am a bisexual woman; she was behaving as a sexual predator against me, in public, in front of children, by the kind of 'hug' she forced on me. I was shocked even more when I felt the energy field that remained: she had a rectangular metallic-feeling negative-energy field that was about 2ft wide by 3ft long, running down the front of her body. I spoke with a traditional Lakota elder about this later, after having had help with cleansing and prayers. He confirmed that this women had called up very bad spirits and harmful energy by taking part in those disrespectful and ignorance fake 'sweatlodges.' RACIST FAKE SHAMANS DO TERRIBLE HARM ALWAYS. That is what i have seen and experienced directly. And, anybody who pretends they can heal or help with things that are beyond their calling and their proper training is being a fake shaman or fake guru by definition, too. Humility is what is needed so badly in this awful time of devastation of our suffering Mother Earth. Non-Native people need to learn their OWN history! And again, not with fake "family crests" and fake invented identities. HAVE THE COURAGE TO BE YOUR REAL SELF - AND THANK YOU GOOD ANCESTORS FOR THEIR SUFFERING AND THEIR WISDOM AND THEIR HELP. Don't try to rip off somebody else.

Past Member (0)
Monday January 31, 2011, 6:44 pm
Noted and thank you Kat !
This needed to be adressed and thank you for doing that here Kat .

Constance F (418)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 10:54 am
Great post/Great Video. Exploiting cultures, people's traditions, selling spirituality....Sad. Selling spirtituality?!
Honestly, I don't even know what that means, "Spirituality." I know what kindness means, patience, trying not to harm others with speech or deed, sitting quietly, helping out, etc....that's all I know. All I care to know.

ivona P (145)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 12:07 pm
Wonderful video and message!Thanks Kat.

Jan S (0)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 8:30 pm
I have no problem with people paying money for these spiritual experiences. Everyone if free to do so if they please. Of course they are not all authentic and I am sure that not everyone who attends totally believes it either.
I can see how it would bother someone who was Native American but the video sure has a nasty tone to it. People always end up adopting other cultures' habits, pastimes and religious aspects to some extent. None of us can demand they be perfectly authentic. Now obviously I am not saying it is acceptable if someone dies, as they did in the sweat lodge, but ease up, please.

Susan B (3)
Tuesday February 1, 2011, 8:31 pm

Richard Zane Smith (81)
Wednesday February 2, 2011, 5:40 am
Constance, what you express is genuine, and appreciated. I'm glad there are people like you here.
Nobody likes being deceived or misquoted . And misquoted is what members of our tribes feel when they see these masqueraders with all their beads and feathers,burning sage,sweetgrass and cedar. These people are NOT welcome at our traditional ceremonies and would never be invited,simply because they might steal a song, a prayer, a ceremonial expression and use it for their own profit. Its simply another form of colonization - taking something out of context, giving it an Indian name ,and recreating it. Its no different than digging a skull of one of our ancestors and making a candle holder out of it for some kind of personal ritual.
Thieves of culture and ceremony are the kinds of people we worry about the most, and will never hear our songs if we can help it. Many of these are lost souls who have only family rumors of roots in this soil.
Its because of these abuses we won't make public announcements about ceremonies. we've been warned by our elders that (outsiders) might like the sound of some of our songs because they are beautiful and will snatch them away,just like our children were also taken and changed by schools in their inner minds...till when they returned from school the grandparents didn't recognize them anymore. the same can happen to our songs.


MmAway M (507)
Saturday February 5, 2011, 11:47 am
Thank you Kat...reading some of these comments I have wet eyes...Always love your news to enlighten me about what is going on and you never cease to disappointment me!

Nadine L (29)
Monday February 7, 2011, 7:18 am
Gurus have always been around, in all religions. They're stealing traditions for their own sake, power, sex and money. They have to be unmasked, thanks for getting our attention to this.

Paula L (17)
Sunday February 13, 2011, 9:24 pm
Thanks Kat. I am Irish/Cherokee, I know little of my Cherokee Culture. I was raised under white man's ways. Even as a child, I never felt I fit in with white man's world. My family must have had some horrible experiences at the hands of white man, they displayed this horrible panic look if you even questioned about Native Indian heritage. Once I learned we had Indian heritage, I knew why I never fit in white mas world. I was made fun of in school as a child, because when I didn't like what the white's were doing, I would tell them the Indians had a better way. (Don't ask me how I knew when my family didn't raise me to know, but I did), I know now, now that I have, actually been disowned by most of my "white" blooded relatives for choosing to learn my Native heritage,...because it was instilled in my heart through my Native Heritage. I would never pay for any information. And in my experience in seeking my Native Culture, I know that no true Native Spiritual will ever ask to be paid.

Norm C (74)
Saturday March 5, 2011, 2:15 pm
I am still searching for the immigration papers issued first by the Mohawk and later by the Lakota for my earliest European ancestors that made our family legal immigrants. Could it be that those papers do not exist?

The American holocaust that decimated our Native Peoples still reverberates in the abject poverty and resource theft rampant on most of their concentration camps, oops, reservations and the hostility by most whites in the communities near them.

Fortunately, there is a slowly, very slowly, growing appreciation for Native People's art and philosophy. I hope the genuine article will survive the commercial assault by the posers and the superficially sincere admirers.

Sini K (113)
Wednesday March 9, 2011, 2:55 am
Noted, signed and Thank you.

Barbara Erdman (63)
Wednesday March 9, 2011, 4:44 pm
noted and thanx Kat

Lynda R (170)
Thursday June 23, 2011, 1:48 pm
This site was shut down due to its excessive bullying and alleged outright lying. There are many other places to look for truth but it isn't online.

Katz R (54)
Tuesday March 6, 2012, 9:35 am
these people are crazy and what is disgusting is they are profiting hand over fist by stolen bits of Native ceremonies while they get away with bastardizing them. There was articles like this [if not this one wind is bad right now and won't load] on AIM FB a few months ago.
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