General > Frauds

Heather Campbell


Former student of Harley 'Swiftdeer' Regan/Reagan. Moved near me in south Devon about six months ago. Offering the usual crystal-ninny nonsense dressed up as 'The Native American Path'. Got bizarre article published in local newspaper this week alleging persecution. There's no link to the story but here's the photo that accompanied it:

Enter 03117250 in search box.

Anyone recognise her? The thing she's holding in the picture is a flyer for one of her `workshops', which she says are being secretly removed by zealous-but-cowardly converts to `The Native American Path' who object to Regan not being a `full-blooded Native American'. Article also mentions `hate-mail'. I wrote this to the journalist responsible, who sent a  one-sentence reply, and it wasn't `This sounds like a great story!'. Are there any Indian people who'd be interested in talking to him? I can't guarantee he'll want to talk to you but I'd like to get some facts into the paper if possible:

--- Quote ---I read with interest and amusement your article on Heather Campbell since I'm one of the people who's been sending 'hate mail' about her. I sent the example below to Mark Hartshorn, a spiritual healer, who hosted one of her talks back in June. The flyers for that talk bore the words `Twisted Hairs Medicine Society', one of the names used by Harley Regan for his pseudo-Indian personality cult. Since then Ms Campbell has used another grandiose title invented by Regan, the `Deer Tribe Metis Medicine Society', on her flyers. If she really severed connections with Regan sixteen years ago, she's been misrepresenting herself in Totnes.

Ms Campbell's right about one thing: I'm not an American Indian. However I've had enough contact and discussion with Indians over the last eight years or so to know that they mostly view people like Ms Campbell with either pity or contempt. My ancestors are all from Yorkshire: maybe that's why I can't stand snake-oil merchants.

By the way, I can't help with the disappearing-posters mystery, though it's gratifying to learn that someone else seems to be wise to Ms
Campbell's game. Perhaps she should consider using her shamanic powers to discover the culprit.
--- End quote ---

--- Quote ---Received: from [IP address removed] by [server] via
HTTP; Wed, 09 Jun 2004 19:54:31 BST;
Date: Wed, 9 Jun 2004 19:54:31 +0100 (BST)
From: "Barnaby McEwan" <barnaby_mcewan@[domain]>
Subject: Heather Campbell
To: readings@markhartshorn.[domain]
CC: mark_hartshorn@[domain]
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
Content-Length: 1506

Dear Mr Hartshorn

I'm writing to express my concern that on June the 29th your Centre for Spiritual Reality in Totnes will be hosting a talk by Heather Campbell on 'Native American shamanism'.

I have two problems with this. Firstly, the idea of 'shamanism' is based on, shall we say, imaginative research. It's a new way of romanticising 'primitive' people while refusing to notice the appalling realities in which many of these people are forced to live. American Indians, for example, have the worst mortality, chronic illness and poverty statistics of any ethnic group in the US; a centuries-old legacy of government brutality, corruption and ineptness which continues today
under the noses of students of 'shamanism'. You'd be hard-pressed to find a single 'shaman' who knows who Bruce Babbitt is, for instance, never mind one who campaigns with Indians for justice.

Alice Beck Kehoe's short book 'Shamans and Religion: an Anthropological Exploration in Critical Thinking (Waveland Press, 2000) goes into some
detail about the history of 'primitivism' in Western thought, relating it to the current surge of interest in 'shamanism'.  She forcefully shows that seeing people and their traditions only as some kind of romantic spiritual resource is a subtle form of racism.

Indians tend to concur in that view: they've been protesting for decades about people like Ms Campbell spreading false ideas about their religions, whether they do it for money or not. As I'm sure you can imagine, they tend to see the activities of these people as an outrageous insult. You can read about this here:

This website is maintained by a Cherokee woman, Trisha Jacobs, studying in Belgium, and that brings me rather neatly to my second problem with Ms Campbell.

She claims to have studied with an organisation called the 'Deer Tribe', headed by a supposed Cherokee called Harley 'Swiftdeer' Regan. He's not an Indian, and his organisation is not a tribe. Furthermore his 'Twisted Hairs Medicine Society' is purely imaginary as are, it seems, his sporting and military achievements. Don't take my word for it: you can read about this despicable man on Trisha's site:

I hope you'll consider whether you want your Centres to be associated with a practice that Indians consider, to put it mildy, extremely disrespectful.  I'm sure you've put a lot of work into them and wouldn't want them to be tainted by racism.

Please don't hesitate to email me if you want more information.
--- End quote ---

Hi Barnaby, good to see you here.

I couldn't see the photo, got an error message. I think I've tried to look into her before, got little besides her book for sale and a workshop ad.

I'd be glad to talk to the reporter, if it's not too late. Mention my background if you think it'll help, and add something new-Adjunct Professor of History, St Phillip's College, San Antonio.

Sorrry; don't know why that went wrong.

Try this link:

Enter 03117250 (those are zeros, not the letter o).

> I'd be glad to talk to the reporter, if it's not too late.

By now it might be better to write a letter for publication to

Coincidentally last year the paper's owner forbade reporting of local anti-war activity.

elija vandenberg:
i knew heather for years in the 80's when she was peddling her ideas in london, she moves around quite a bit, is an heiress to te campbell whiskey empire (ironic huh?)
she was also associated with sun bear (now deceased)


[0] Message Index

Go to full version