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HI! I used 2 be a new age ndn.

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Hello to all.  I first want to say thank you.  Several years ago I began to doubt my spiritual practices.  This website planted the seed that what I was doing was wrong.  It took several years to happen, but eventually I walked away.

My NAFPS Forum name is used2bnaf- used to be a new age a fraud.  I was never a practicioner. I was a participant for 11 years.  I no longer claim "Native Amercian Spirituality" or "Lakota Spirituality" as a way of life for me, or any other non lakota person.

I guess the next thing I should say is, I apologize.  I apologize for trying to lay claim to something that wasn't mine.  I apologize for propogating the lies and misconceptions related to the Lakota way of life, and non natives ability to use it for their own personal healing and evolution.  

I was introduced to Lakota ceremonies (ran by non natives) at a very wounded time in my life.  I was desperate for love, affirmation, and a sense of belonging.  The group that I became a part of provided me with all of that and more.

The group I belonged to is based in Texas.  There are many posts about Mary Thunder on this website.  Though not in her "camp", the group I belonged to has links to it.  And of course the Lone star Sun Dance. (which just ended Saturday).  As a side note you should know that "Chief" Richard Grimes now has a Sun Dance at his mother Mary Thunder's Blue Star Ranch.

Other notables in the greater group I belonged to are:

Chief Michael Hull
Chief Richard Grimes
FL Star Grimes
Chief Bear Rastall
FL Shari Valentine
Chief Shellbone Williams
Chief Wally Newton
FL Glenda Newton Gray
Chief Butch Hennigan (passed away several years ago)
Chief Huston
Lynn Valentine
Chief Lex Lentsche
FL Jennifer Klayton Lentsche
Chief Phillip Scott
Chief Quincy Yazzie
Chief Marvin Swallow
FL Hiroku Swallow

I only refer to them with "chief" and "first lady" because I want to be clear on how they represent themselves. I am not trying to offend this group with these labels.

I have attended sweat lodges twice a month for 11 years.(if not more)  Vision quests 2 twice a year, sometimes 3.  Yes I have vision quested and I'm white. (not saying it is right).  I have attended the Lone Star Sundance 10 times.  I pledged to dance, and walked out of the mystrey circle without completing the committment I made.  That is what inevitably led to my realization of how wrong my actions had been for a decade. It was difficult to walk away.  The group I belonged to has a very thick veneer of authenticity to it.  They claim lineage that connects to Leonard Crow Dog and Charles Chipps.  The ceremonial leaders NEVER charged for the ceremonies.  For Vision Quests and Sundance there were camp fees to cover food and potties, and it was always used appropriatley. Made it hard.  What else made it hard was the rhetoric that the ceremonies as we practiced were authentic with nothing added or taken away from. It took a lot of soul searching and therapy, brutal honesty and ego deflation.  My walking away has not been easy or gentle.  Many of my "ndn" friends will not talk to me.  They demand back the sacred objects that were freely given to me. (And now I have no clue what to do with them.)  The NAF and NDN way of life took up so much of my time and life; now there is a huge void that I am trying to figure out how to fill.

So thats me in a nutshell.  Former cultural appropriator turned penitent....and lonely as hell.  I joined this group to be a resource to those who need information about the workings in Texas, and to help as possible.

Thanks for listening


Hi used2bnaf, I'm Epiphany, I have lots of past experience in new age cult groups. I know the walking away process can be really tough.

This cult education forum is really helpful along with NAFPS. A good book is Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich, Madeleine Landau Tobias.

I'm really glad you are here. You will be able to pass on information and that will help your own recovery too.

Welcome to NAFPS! I am glad you are here. Many years ago, I met Mary Grimes. She was a friend of an old boyfriend, who was Northern Cheyenne. In fact, he helped her at her first Sundance. She was pretty convincing. But it became clar she was also pretty clueless. She mistook me (in an email) for a friend of mine. WHen corrected, she assumed that my frined was my spouse. We are both women and both like men. ;) She "knew" because "spirit told her". I always did wonder why so many particpants i her group were "chiefs" and "first ladies" and none were NDN.


--- Quote from: debbieredbear on June 20, 2012, 01:50:56 am --- I always did wonder why so many particpants i her group were "chiefs" and "first ladies" and none were NDN.
--- End quote ---

Leonard Crowdog made Michael, Shellbone, Phillip Scott, and Crow Dancing Chiefs.  Michael Hull gave a bonnet to Wally and Butch.  The rest IDK.

critter - a white non-ndn person:

Congrats on facing truth and walking away from fraud. And I'm sure you'll
have plenty to share that will help many here.

I have my own experiences as well, even that of my dear cat dying because
the woman who claimed to know so much didn't. It still hurts.

Anyway, welcome and for whatever it's worth, I think you'll find that void you feel,
filling in with something more real than you could have imagined. 



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