Author Topic: NO LONGER A MATTER OF CONCERN: British who once did "Native American teaching"  (Read 17904 times)

Offline TimberlineWarrior

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I recieved a mail today that seemed ok at first, but then I looked at his courses and found he teaches the Medicine Wheel... and other NA practices

Alexander Massey
Voice Wisdom
[Address and phone deleted]
Email: amassey@voicewisdom.co.uk
Web: http://www.voicewisdom.co.uk

FURTHER INFORMATION AND FREE ARTICLES:

WWW.VOICEWISDOM.CO.UK

There is also a weekend on voicework
with medicine wheels from Native American tradition:
JOURNEY AROUND YOUR VOICE (May 14-15, London W2).
More details to be found on the Voice Wisdom website.
 and from the web site...

8-12 April 2005 Voice Quest (4 day retreat)
Deep personal transformation and healing through engaging with your voice at many levels. Medicine Wheel teachings from native American tradition, song, dance, celebration, meditation and ritual (including nearby ancient Celtic sites). Fully residential and catered. Teaching includes some evening sessions.

and for this he charges £360 ($600 about). I didn't know there were any ancient Native American connections to the ancient Celtic sites of the UK, seems this bloke knows differently.

^. .^
« Last Edit: November 25, 2009, 04:33:32 pm by educatedindian »

Offline Barnaby_McEwan

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teac
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2005, 08:18:50 pm »
'Shamanic' this, 'medicine wheel' that, 'Celtic' the other. SO mid-to-late nineties.
« Last Edit: January 01, 1970, 12:00:00 am by Barnaby_McEwan »

Offline educatedindian

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teac
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2005, 10:43:23 pm »
Pretty much he's a voice coach who slaps some of the "core shamanism" stuff on. Relies on Leo Rutherford, Ted Andrews, and Kenneth Meadows. In other words, white guys who claim they got "secret Indian wisdom" from unnamed others.

Rutherford and Meadows are both Brits and all three are on every fraud list out there.

Offline TimberlineWarrior

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teac
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2005, 10:45:01 pm »
as they should be.

^. .^

Offline TimberlineWarrior

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teac
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2005, 07:17:49 am »
I mailed Alexander and asked him where he recieved his teachings;

Hi,
reading your prospectus I see you teach the Native American Medicine Wheel. I am very interested in this, can you tell me where you recieved your teachings for the use of the Medicine Wheel please?

Timberline


Hello – I first learned of the medicine wheels through my wife, and since then have learned about them through Leo Rutherford, sweatlodges with different leaders, and my own studies and life experience. The medicine wheels themselves have their own way of teaching us too ...

All the best, Alexander

Offline TimberlineWarrior

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teac
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2005, 07:47:24 am »
That reply intigued me, and before commenting I wanted to do some research. After all his wife might be legitimate (doubtful but things can happen). I did see a common name come up, Leo Rutherford.
But I went to his web site and in his personal profile there is this.. and for those that don't know EQUITY is the union for actors.  That about sums this guy up.

I am a member of Equity, the British Voice Association, the Natural Voice Practitioners Network, and the Music and Psyche Network. Other activities include amateur photography, long walks, playing weekly Ultimate (frisbee team game imported from the USA!), and travelling with my South African wife Hilary to see friends and family scattered around the world.

Offline TimberlineWarrior

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teac
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2005, 10:21:13 pm »
I asked Alexander about his wife, I'm sorry if anyone gets hurt laughing at his reply  ;)

Hello Timberline

My wife is South African! However, she learned about medicine wheels originally with Leo. He is a great teacher, and his courses are very thorough. It is not easy to find Native American teachers in the UK. You could look up Wananeechee (Native American ex-cop and youth worker). I used to go to his lodges at Little Grove near Chesham, but I think he’s based near Leeds now. Also maybe ask Nick Wood at Sacred Hoop magazine if he knows of any Native Americans teaching here. Otherwise you would need to go to the USA.

My wife (Hilary Wainer) runs sweatlodges for groups that request it. I teach shamanic principles, and healing techniques based around the voice. The weekend workshops that I run teach medicine wheels through voicework, and voice through medicine wheels. I also draw on medicine wheel wisdom in my one-to-one work.

All the best, Alexander


I'm dying to tear this guy another anal appeture, but he probably wouldn't notice, he spouts s*** at both ends as it is   LOLOL

^. .^

Offline educatedindian

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teaching/Alexander Massey
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2009, 07:17:14 pm »
Massey has just contacted me several times. He's said some very remarkable things:

1. He no longer does the teachings he used to.
2. He regrets doing so.
3. He would like to apologize for any and all harm or offense he's done.

Checking his website, what he once did that was objectionable is no longer on there. So the question becomes, what do we do next? He asked for the thread to be removed, but I would argue we move it to Archives marked No Longer a Matter of Concern.

Here's his apology, in his own words, in two emails.

------------------------
Hello – my attention was drawn to your website, and a thread - http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=209.0 - in your forum (2005) that referred to me.

You will see from my website that I do not claim to run sweatlodges, and that I do not teach Medicine Wheels. I can say with a clear conscience that I have never claimed to be a shaman, despite the subject heading and comments by the writer on your website.

When your writer contacted me all those years ago, I answered in good faith to what I thought was an open and straight approach from them. Like many, I have worked to find and build community, to search for spiritual meaning and sustenance. I have drawn upon what was available to me at the time. Your writers have made it clear that they believe this to have been misguided on my part.

If I have offended those in your group, I apologise. I did not mean to dishonour you or your traditions. If your writers had contacted me at the time, and engaged with me to point out in what way I was offending them and their traditions, and just plain ‘getting it wrong’ and requested or advised me to reconsider the work I was doing at that time, I would have found that helpful, and would have taken such an approach seriously. It is helpful to learn from those who know more, or better, than I do.

I personally believe that in the UK, for centuries we have lost spiritual connection with the earth, and with older indigenous spiritual understandings from our own heritage and land. And I think that is why many of us, yearning for reconnection and guidance, have sought help from traditions not from our country. It is in this spirit that at the time I looked towards Native American wisdom and traditions, especially as I had spent an important part of my childhood in America.

I am sorry to have found the reference on your website that I am a fraud, and what appear to be contemptuous and verbally violent remarks about me. As part of my own evolution, I have run workshops based on what I had been taught and my level of understanding at the time of your discussion thread. I hope you will see that I have moved on, and that my work and website reflect that.

It is in the nature of the internet that what is written can remain there long after its appropriate shelf life and despite its inaccuracy. Please can I ask your moderators to reconsider whether the comments about me should still be there, connected to my website, email and land address and personal phone number? It invites people to take a hostile stance towards me because of my past, and takes no account of who I have become and I what do now. Is that what your group currently wishes for me?

May I offer my deepest apologies that my activities in 2005 were offensive to some members of your group. I would like to good, and not to do harm. May your traditions flourish, and be honoured fully. I wish you well.

Yours faithfully, Alexander Massey

---------------------

Hello Al – thank you for replying to my email. I really appreciate your taking the time.

I am happy for you to post my previous email to your group. I am cautious about engaging in general dialogue with your group. Timberline Warrior made statements on the forum about me as follows: “actors.  That about sums this guy up.” “I'm sorry if anyone gets hurt laughing at his reply [meant ironically]”, and “I'm dying to tear this guy another anal appeture, but he probably wouldn't notice, he spouts s*** at both ends as it is   LOLOL”. This does not encourage me to enter into dialogue. When s/he emailed me originally, I replied honestly and informatively. I may have been offering answers that showed my ignorance or inexperience, but rather than talking with me about that and enlightening me, Timberline Warrior chose to write about me in this way, disseminating my contact information and naming me as a ‘plastic shaman’ and a ‘fraud’. The reality was that I needed guidance and information how s/he believed I was causing harm. And, as I said in my previous email, I definitely did not claim to be a shaman and did not allow people to give me that label.

I prefer not to discuss my experience of the teachers I learned from. I can answer only for my own actions – past actions which I regard as naïve rather than intentionally misleading or damaging. In fairness to those I learned from, I would let them answer for themselves to anyone who would wish to question them directly. I do not hold anyone else responsible for any errors of judgment on my part, lack of discernment about teachers, or for any gullibility I might have demonstrated.

You mentioned that the “false versions of ceremonies you once did are no longer on your site”. I would like to clarify a couple of points. I used to include as part of my teachings what I had been taught in the name of “Medicine Wheel teachings from native American tradition” (as your Timberline Warrior quoted me) – but I have not done that for a number of years, and I am sorry that I caused offence through doing so – I am not aware that medicine wheels are a ceremony or practice, but you may be able to correct me on that.  I only once claimed to teach a Native American practice or do a ceremony, in a course called ‘Voice Quest’, where I said that we would do a “traditional giveaway ceremony”. That course never ran in the end – perhaps there is some natural justice in that. Incidentally, despite the course title, I never claimed it was a Native American vision quest. I think that the description of me as running “false versions of ceremonies” and Timberline Warrior’s claim that I taught “other NA practices” are inaccurate, as this simply did not happen, and I do not know why anyone in your group is making such inaccurate statements about me.

I have attached relevant promotional material from 2003 and 2005 so that you can see for yourself what I actually claimed. Also, I have attached the information I sent out for a course in 2003 to those who booked onto it. Please note how I wrote about the spiritual aspect of the work:


“The spiritual element is non-religious and non-denominational. People from many different spiritual and religious traditions have been able to engage with this work alongside each other in harmony. In this work, we tap into what is both most personal and most universal. All are welcome, and no 'ism', system of belief or ideology is imposed on those who come. Indeed, it is very much the spirit of this work to be open minded, inclusive and non-judgemental, and to honour connection with spirit in whatever form it is expressed in a person's life.”


I would like to apologise again for the upset I seem to have caused. I was shocked and embarrassed by what was written about me, and am duly chastened. At the same time, I ask that I am represented accurately, and that inaccurate statements are not made about me. I think your members may have been misinformed about what I claimed and the work I was doing at that time. Please would your moderators consider removing from your pubicly accessible page the statements about me on the discussion thread as they are not a true and fair reflection of me now (or then).

I think it is important that your traditions are upheld and respected, and I wish you well. I would like to think that your organisation would not want to allow inaccurate and offensive remarks about me to remain on their website; I find it hard to believe that this would be in tune with their own traditions.

Best wishes, Alexander


Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teaching
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2009, 08:26:23 pm »
While he does seem to regret his past actions, to me he sounds more concerned with his personal feelings of hurt at being called on his actions, rather than concerned with how his actions have affected others. I'd like to see him show more understanding of, and concern about, how his actions have harmed Indigenous peoples. He falls back on the classic white thing of blaming his critics for not educating him, rather than taking responsibility for educating himself.

I have sympathy for his having being confused and making bad choices in the past. Many of us have been fooled by frauds and predators. Many of us have made mistakes before we learned better. However, I don't think the answer to this is to hush it up and pretend it never happened.

We do need to have some way of acknowledging when the work to educate exploiters has made a difference in the behaviour of the exploiters. People have to know there is room to change and, sometimes, room for forgiveness (I leave it to those whose traditions he ripped off and sold to decide if they want to forgive him).

That said, while I would prefer he show a bit more understanding of the issues, and more of a commitment to making amends, I would be OK on moving this thread to the archive.... with the caveat that if he does this again, he'll be moved back here. 2005 is not that long ago. There was already lots of information on the web and through the grapevine about cultural appropriation. But he seems sincere in his apology, if still more concerned about himself than the cultures he ripped off.

Alexander, if you're reading this, I would like to ask you this: If you and your wife found your versions of Native American ceremonies (sweat lodge, etc) personally meaningful, and meaningful for your clients, how has your life changed since then? Did you just cease to perform these things? Have you replaced them with something else? How do we know you and your wife don't still lead these things in private? What have you and your partners done to make amends to the people whose traditions you stole and misrepresented?

Here on this page of your site http://www.voicewisdom.co.uk/alexander-massey.html is this:

Quote
9-11 May 2008
ATRES, Annual Conference of Scottish Religious Educators, Dunblane
'The Power of Voice and Speech: teachings about the ethics of communication in global spiritual traditions' - keynote talk + workshops

I'm wondering if you feel yourself to be a teacher of "global spiritual traditions" and what those traditions are.


ETA: Wife Hilary Wainer's page: http://www.tacpac.co.uk/about_us.htm still links to Leo Rutherford's website and praises him: http://www.shamanism.co.uk/
« Last Edit: July 18, 2014, 11:49:33 pm by Kathryn »

Offline TimberlineWarrior

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Re: a British Shaman who does Native American teaching/Alexander Massey
« Reply #9 on: November 25, 2009, 10:28:47 am »
Massey has just contacted me several times. He's said some very remarkable things:

I personally believe that in the UK, for centuries we have lost spiritual connection with the earth, and with older indigenous spiritual understandings from our own heritage and land.

Yours faithfully, Alexander Massey

I happened to visit a stone circle (not Stonehenge) in the South West of the UK with a friend who claimed spirit a couple of years ago and they commented that they felt nothing spiritual there and a pity it wasn't still used. I said they should open their eyes and heart. There were lots of small signs that the circles are still used. Wax on some stones, small semi-precious stones in the cracks and below the main stones. Small tokens in an oak tree adjacent to the circle, etc.
Anyone in the UK all they have to do is open their heart and eyes, the Wicca, Pagan and even Druid circles are alive well and practicing and all have roots back to old celtic times. I spoke to a Wicca friend about the circle and she confirmed that it is used regularly and is well known and regarded as a special place by Pagans, Wicca etc.
So although some may have lost the connection that Massey claims, it hasn't been lost, you just need to look for it and certainly don't need to borrow or steal anyone elses path to follow.
In fact encouraging genuine following of the authentic Celtic ways would be more beneficial to your own heart and others.

^. .^

Offline educatedindian

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NO LONGER A MATTER OF CONCERN: British who once did "Native American teaching"
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2009, 04:29:29 pm »
Moving the thread. I should also post my responses to Massey. Two emails.

-------------------

Hello,
I don't believe we've ever had someone who had done harmful acts come forward and apologize.
I do see that the false versions of ceremonies you once did are no longer on your site. I commend you for your honesty and ethics.
I strongly encourage you to come to the forum and make these statements yourself. However, if you are unwilling, may I repost your email below? [Note that email was posted above.]
I'd also appreciate you telling us about your experience with the frauds like Rutherford you trained under. What made you think they were authentic?

-------------------

Hello,
Looking over your materials, what you offered claimed to be a medicine wheel ceremony. Technically this is not a Native ceremony, but a Nuage ceremony widely falsely claimed to be Native. Medicine wheels are simply calendars used by a few tribes, but a notorious fraud named Charles Storm AKA Hyemheyosts spread a number of false ideas about them.
 
Just so you realize ,Storm was a German-American who falsely claimed to be Cheyenne. He was denounced by the Cheyenne nation and his publisher apologized, relabeled the book as fiction, and paid reparations to the tribe. Storm himself, according to a member of his inner circle who contacted me, formed a cult and abused a number of the children of the cult members before disappearing, current whereabouts unknown.
 
Incidentally, your wife still has some compliments about fraud Leo Rutherford on her site, and indicates she is still in frequent contact with him.
 
What Rutherford does is not only offensive, it's extremely dangerous to those gullible enough to fall for him. He offers swealodges when he definitely is not trained in how to do them. It is quite easy to burn or scald someone in a sweatlodge, and this frequently happens in Nuage or "shamanism" imitations of the ceremony. Sometimes people die in false versions of sweatlodges, as just happened recently at Sedona.
 
Rutherford also offers ayahuasca ceremony for profit. Again, in addition to being offensive, this is dangerous. Outsiders don't know how to properly mix the drug, and it is only supposed to be taken by the most mentally stable practitioners, not by the curious, thrill seekers, and certainly not for tourists. Both physical and psychological damage can result.
 
If you go to the thread, you will see that we in NAFPS are in agreement that your thread should be moved out of Frauds. We don't delete threads. We will place your thread in Archives and mark it No Longer a Matter of Concern.
 
There are other comments there you may wish to read, advice and concern. And your phone number was posted. That was an oversight and will be deleted.