Author Topic: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering  (Read 16807 times)

Offline Smart Mule

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Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« on: January 07, 2013, 11:47:34 pm »
Reposting this topic-

http://www.8thfiregathering2012.com/

Last weekend was the 8th Fire Gathering in Gardner, Massachusetts.  This was promoted as an extension of gatherings held by Grandfather William Commanda.

The gathering was actually run by Jim Farnum, the non-indian half-brother of Francis Talbot http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=888.0, Lester Greenwood http://divinecreativeinspirations.com/main/page_classes_lester_bio.html, Jim Beard http://www.northeastcultural.com/northeastnews.htm and Bill Pfeiffer http://www.sacredearthnetwork.org/meta/workshopsbios.cfm.  It was attended by a large group of almost entirely white people including Sparrow Hart http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=1562.0.

The indigenous people that were invited are all highly respected members of their respective communities, some being ceremonial leaders of their communities.  They were treated like crap and barely allowed to speak.  I showed up in the afternoon all three days and it was rather surreal.  All of the white people did the talking.  They talked and talked and talked and talked, when they weren't talking they were doing bizarre ceremony.  I spent Saturday evening trying to find food for one of the elders who was diabetic.  I had planned on addressing the group on Sunday but things got changed up and there was no time for me to speak.  Several of us were there to watch on Friday as well as Sunday.  All around it was pretty darn disturbing.

Friends up at Maniwaki are upset because this re-occurring event is steeped in patriarchy.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2018, 07:13:36 pm by Defend the Sacred »

Offline RedRightHand

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2013, 12:14:30 am »
Quote from:  link=topic=3920.msg32799#msg32799 date=1357602454
The gathering was actually run by Jim Farnum, the non-indian half-brother of Francis Talbot http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=888.0, Lester Greenwood http://divinecreativeinspirations.com/main/page_classes_lester_bio.html, Jim Beard http://www.northeastcultural.com/northeastnews.htm and Bill Pfeiffer http://www.sacredearthnetwork.org/meta/workshopsbios.cfm.  It was attended by a large group of almost entirely white people including Sparrow Hart http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=1562.0.

Greenwood is a ceremony seller. He is also hooked up with these New Age Frauds -

Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=3498

He and his (also non-Native) partner, Andrea Brenton, are posing as spiritual leaders who can teach NDN ways. Apparently there wasn't enough money in Wicca. They are telling non-Natives they can choose to be Indigenous, and choose to proclaim themselves Elders. We are hearing some very, very creepy things about some of the men involved in this and are particularly asking women to stay far away from this. Elders have been advising women to stay away from these men and any events they attend. Native people and allies who have tried to educate them have been silenced and attacked. Now these white pretendians have tried to ban Native people from their "Native" gathering. It is particularly shocking how Native women and their relatives are being treated. There is something very, very wrong there.

Now with Idle No More, Greenwood and Brenton have been showing up wanting to lead Indigenous dances. When allies have tried to educate them that INM is an Indigenous movement, and that non-Natives can support but not lead, these white pretendians are calling anyone who questions their white privilege to steal ceremony and NDN identity, racists. These vicious pretendians are the racists.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 08:49:24 pm by Smart Mule »

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2013, 12:50:02 am »
I went with some friends and family to meet up with the Elders from Canada, who are old friends of my sister. Given that we were initially told this was an Indigenous gathering, we were very uncomfortable with how many non-Natives were there, the way the event was being promoted, and the fact that white appropriators were not only present, but leading the fire circles and sweats. But we went to see our friends and relatives, and in an effort to try to understand why they had agreed to attend this bizarre event.

After we saw that the non-Natives had built a gigantic sweat lodge (reminiscent of the James Ray deathlodge) and after a white woman tried to photograph people when they were praying at the fire, we tried to talk to some of them about cultural appropriation and basic issues of protocol and respect. We were very polite, but the people we talked to became very upset that anyone would question their "right" to buy access to NDN ceremonies or lead fake NDN ceremonies themselves.

While there was no charge to attend this particular gathering, the mentality was the same as any pay-to-pray event, as most of the attendees are immersed in that "workshop culture" attitude and spoke openly of how they regularly attend pay-to-pray ceremonies, support white exploiters of NDN ceremonies, and engage in spiritual tourism. Instead of the way it is in real Native communities, where you are only invited to ceremony if you are part of the family and have earned trust over time (and have demonstrated that you understand and respect protocol); this gathering embodied the newage, white privileged principle that everyone has the "right" to ceremony as long as they can use a web browser to find a website where the event is listed. Even though no money changed hands at this event (because they knew Natives would be there), it still took place under the cloud of that same mentality of entitlement, of spirituality as commodity, and the idea that the individual ego is more important than Indigenous sovereignty, cultural integrity, or community standards of humility and respect.

It was exhausting, draining and depressing. I am truly shocked at the offensive things I saw at this awful gathering.  I am sickened by how my friends, relatives and Elders were treated.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2018, 08:50:23 pm by Smart Mule »

Offline Smart Mule

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2013, 07:47:01 pm »
This years gathering - http://www.8thfiregathering2013.com/index.html

From the site -

8th Fire Gathering 2013
?People from all walks of life, all races and all faiths, are invited to the
2013 "8th Fire Gathering" in the Northeast.

Bring your passion, vision, skills, knowledge, and expertise to help create a positive future. We will continue to build on the work of past gatherings: healing our relationship to each other and the Earth and using the collective energy to weave a path of light towards a
"new people".

This will be a cross-cultural gathering where we will spend four days in dialogue, ceremony and celebration with the intention of making a
 "good way" ahead for Earth, Her children, and All Life.


We will honor the wisdom and practices of Indigenous Peoples who have lived on Turtle Island successfully for thousands of years. Hear the voices of the grandmothers and grandfathers as they share the truths of their cultures.

Special themes for 2013: the four colors of man, the 4 directions and the 4 elements:
earth, air, fire and water.

The use of the term “8th fire” references the 7 Fires prophesy of the Anishinabeq people and the possibility, if we can find our way through this time, of coming to a new way of being in right relationship with ourselves, each other and the Earth. 
The Eighth Fire
is a term arising from the teachings of the Seven fires prophecy. The teaching suggests that if enough people—of all colors and faiths—turn from materialism and instead choose a path of respect, wisdom and spirituality, environmental and social catastrophe can be avoided, and an era of spiritual illumination will unfold.


Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2013, 08:06:56 pm »
This is disgusting. The pictures on that website are very misleading. Most of them are from years ago, when more than a couple token Native people attended.  Last year there were only a bare handful of NDNs there. There were only two NDN women there, and one was only there to protest the event.  All but a couple of the NDNs were treated like crap and left in disgust. However, and this is heartbreaking, the few who are happy to let white people desecrate ceremony and sell ceremony seem to have had an OK time.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2013, 08:32:01 pm »
At first I wanted to believe that the two NDNs who agreed to return to this debacle honestly did not understand that the white people leave these gatherings and sell fake ceremonies based on what the NDNs have let them witness. I really thought they didn't get it. But now they've been told, and shown examples. So it's on them:  White people selling plastic lodges. White men making "Indigenous clan mothers" of white women in made-up ceremonies. White people proclaiming themselves Indigenous Elders. Aggressive, patriarchal white men replacing NDN women in their ceremonial roles. White people's voices and values replacing NDN ones.  What is heartbreaking is what it's going to do to the next generations, who deserve to inherit an intact culture and ceremonies. And this type of desecration puts all of that at risk. I feel sick.

Offline Smart Mule

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 05:46:59 pm »
The fake gathering starts today.

Check out the pic, how disturbing is this? https://www.facebook.com/events/595968547089010/?ref=22

Link for the gathering https://www.facebook.com/pages/8th-Fire-Gathering-2013/508736445856943?ref=ts&fref=ts

Epiphany

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 06:23:13 pm »
Uploading a copy of that very disturbing photo here, in case it later disappears from the FB page.


Offline Diana

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 06:37:36 pm »
OMG!! That is the most disturbing and creepiest picture I have ever seen. What are they suppose to be? Are these people adults? Is this some kind of weird fur-bee, dress up sex game? I'm embarrassed for them. I don't know what else to say, but yuck yuck yuck!  :o


Diana

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 06:46:53 pm »
And some NDNs are actually going to this thing.  They are there now. Only two that I know of, amidst all the creepy white people, but still... AAAAAGH!!!!

Offline Smart Mule

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 06:48:27 pm »
Three, all Maliseet from Canada.  Of course the 8th fire teachings aren't part of their traditions so they are participating in and encouraging appropriation.









eta
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 06:54:53 pm by sky »

Epiphany

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 07:07:23 pm »
Someone has commented on the FB page that the photo looks like people doing the Nazi salute, which it does. Yet it hasn't been removed.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 07:08:31 pm »
So this is what it's come to. E, when those creepy white people started happily howling the gibberish Brooke "Medicine Eagle" song, while white men led things only NDN women should do, I turned to you and said I couldn't stay in the circle for that. You said, "Oh, they mean well." I responded, "No. No they don't." and then walked out. I say it again, THEY DO NOT MEAN WELL.

This is what happens when you let white strangers come to ceremonies. When you assume they "mean well" even when they are clearly demonstrating offensive behaviour. This is what happens when you don't listen to the women Elders who told you to stop this.

Note the comment by the person who LIKES that this looks like a Nazi salute. That's the company you are keeping this weekend.


Epiphany

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 07:30:07 pm »
That image comes from:

Quote
Movements Presentation and Potluck at Eighth Fire Gathering

Event for Gurdjieff/Bennett Group at Camp Caravan · By Debra Strick

Here is an example of a "Gurdjieff/Bennett" group: http://gurdjieffbennettnyc.com/

These groups often are called "Fourth Way".

Quote
George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff was born in 1872 in the Caucasus region of Russia, of Greek, Armenian, and Russian ancestry. He claimed to have met members of a Hidden Brotherhood while traveling in Asia, and they initiated him in the occult tradition. After returning to Moscow Gurdjieff started an esoteric school where disciples were supposed to be taught how to reach higher levels of conscience through meditation exercises. After the school's success he opened a similar one in Paris.

Quote
Gurdjieff also believed in the legend of the Masters of Wisdom, superhuman intelligences who keep a careful watch over the destiny of mankind and intervene whenever human affairs get out of hand. Even more, he believed that he himself was in direct communication with a source of higher energy from which, through him, his disciples could draw.

http://www.intelinet.org/swastika/swas_haushofer.html

These groups can be high demand, cultic, and dangerous, with distinct racist influence.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2013, 07:34:56 pm by Epiphany »

Offline Smart Mule

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Re: Fraudulent 8th Fire gathering
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 07:38:23 pm »
Then there's this on the creepy Gurdjieff beliefs - http://gurdjiefffourthway.org/pdf/sexual.pdf