Author Topic: THOMAS LIGHTNING BOLT INTERVIEW  (Read 38542 times)


  • Guest
« on: May 30, 2007, 02:44:31 am »

Here is an interview I just conducted. All feed back on this interview would be appreciated.

(The Bio below came from his CD)

Thomas Lightning Bolt age 34 is a Native American. Descendant of the Mohawk and the Abenaki and adopted by a Lakota woman. During his early twenties he was selected seemingly out of the blue for an apprenticeship under a Coyote Medicine Man of a northern California tribe of Native Americans. During this Apprenticeship Lightning Bolt was initiated in to the highest levels of Native American mysticism, underwent a Shaman's death (literally), was kissed by the Thunder Beings (more than once), and instructed to use the power that he was born with (the lightning) to help and heal the people of all Nations of the Earth that they may live.


  • Guest
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2007, 03:49:01 am »
Without getting into much detail, anyone that advertises their medicine is bull.
If he's Mohawk and Abenaki descent he should learn their ways, not that of another tribe.
I think  maybe he's been touched ( if you get my drift) and not kissed.
Sounds like he knows enough to make him dangerous to himself and others.


  • Guest
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2007, 04:00:35 am »

What do you mean by advertising his medicine?  Do you mean the info on his CD? His bio.

Read the interview if you get a chance.


  • Guest
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2007, 11:27:17 am »
If you are referring to the link you provided, yes I did read it. In it he speaks about being kissed by the thunder beings, that is a Lakota belief of spiritual medicine. Anyone that speaks about spiritual medicines or medicines of the earth and it is used to promote themselves, whether it be with music, books or seminars, I myself do not take seriously. Spiritual medicines are not spoken about in a public way such as a interview. All the undertones of the interview, speak I am a medicine man, buy my cd. No disrespect but I could cut and paste half the interview and point out what is wrong with what he says.


  • Guest
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2007, 04:15:35 pm »

With all due respect, does that mean Black Elk, Fools Crow, John Fire Rain Deer are not authentic medicine men.  They all gave interviews for books. Giving an interview and answering questions is not necessarily self promotion. Its a way of sharing knowledge, raising awareness and providing information.  I asked him about his music, and musical instruments since he sent me the CD.  He answered my questions.

On the subject of native spirituality. What are your thoughts on this. Especially the last two paragraphs.

Respect - The Key To Life by Dave Chief,
Grandson of Red Dog, Crazy Horse's Band

Respect means no interruption.
Respect means no confrontation.
Respect means no accusation.
Respect means no "mocking,"
Especially, no mocking of elders.

Respect means no lies between us.
Respect means no betrayal of confidence.
Respect means no "ripping off."
Respect means no hoarding.

Respect means no "Lording it over" someone.
Respect means no ordering around.
Respect means no yelling in anger.
Respect means no bad language.
Respect means no name calling.
Respect means controlling yourself.

Respect is not a commodity.
Respect is a way of being.
Respect is in our chest and not in our hand.
Respect is for all life.

Respect is for every species in the world,
including all four races.
Respect is for all our relations.
Respect is focusing on and dealing in "issues"
and not "personalisms."
Respect is focusing on "what " is right
rather than "who" is right.

Respect means owning our own negativity
and not being a "Blame Shifter."
A "Blame Shifter" is one who projects or shifts
his own negativity onto someone else.
This is the process of bigotry, war, and genocide.

Respect is keeping all lines of communication open
with those who have a different opinion, and making
a sincere attempt to let them be heard and understood.
Respect means listening until everyone has been heard and understood,
only then is there a possibility for "Balance and Harmony,"
The goal of Indian spirituality.


  • Guest
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2007, 06:11:09 pm »
I believe this is comparing apples to oranges when it comes to the difference between Fool's Crow and Thomas Lighting Bolt. I am only going to use one example of those you mentioned. First off Fool's Crow was Lakota and he practiced his own people's beliefs, he did not follow traditions nor beliefs of another tribe.  Fool's Crow was not a self appointed spiritual leader, he was recognized by his people as one.
I prefer not to go into any details of the beliefs, nor my thoughts on native spirituality, for I do not believe it would serve a purpose on the internet. By revealing what I know would make me as guilty as those that exploit the culture.


  • Guest
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2007, 07:15:23 pm »
Thank you for your feed back. Very much appreciated and totally understand your point.  That's very interesting since you are on a forum called Plastic medicine men and new age shamans but do not want to discuss Native Spiritually online. I thought that's what this forum is about? 


  • Guest
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2007, 07:49:45 pm »
No this site is about exposing frauds who exploit our culture and use ceremonies as a for profit buisness. I would be interested in knowing who this coyote medicine man from a California tribe is, why does he not mention his name?

It has and is always the way that a TRUE MEDICINE MAN NEVER speaks that he is a medicine man. It may have been spread by word of mouth but HE will never speak of this.

Also are you stating that looking back woman has the REAL Sacred Chanupa that Fools Crow was given down to him to keep? or are you stating that she was given a chanupa that he used in a ceremony? Yes you are correct all Chanupas are Sacred and those who carry one and call themselves a Pipe carrier had better be VERY aware of that fact.


  • Guest
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2007, 01:02:41 am »

This is a message from Thomas Lightning Bolt

Mr.coffee_drinker sounds like you've been drinking too much coffee!!! I feel sorry for people who have too much time on their hands that all they have to do is criticize. I did not
ask for this burden and as far as i'm concerned the people Who make these judgments are not worthy of what i have to offer.

So you people who try to tear me down remember that when you need to be healed and no one else can help you. If people have a problem with me being Mohawk/Abenaki and passed Lakota Take it up with Fools Crow and the Great Spirit! As Albert Einstein said "Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds!!!"

Every true medicine person I know has suffered criticism from the jealous and the ignorant. Fools Crow said "A man who has something and does not share it has nothing". I do music because I WAS ASKED TO! any money I get from it GOES TO THE MUSIC. And why would I tell any of you Coyote's  name, so you can slander him also? I don't think so!!!! This web site is a New Age gossip forum and gossip is one of the most EVIL medicines on the planet!

                   Lightning Bolt


  • Guest
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2007, 03:42:25 am »
First I would like to address LBW. I myself have never wrote or spoke about you or your family. It is not my place to speak on who has what pipe.
I believe this thread was started by Marlon who asked for feedback, what I said was my opinion, nothing more, which I stand by.  I will repeat a sentence I wrote and that is "comparing apples to oranges." Those that Marlon spoke of, the agenda was not to bring attention of self interest, in fact all three lived extrememly humbled lives. And all carried messages for the people. What I read in the interview, I see none of these contents of what they all tried to convey to the people.
In your post when you say" So you people who try to tear me down remember that when you need to be healed and no one else can help you." Are you implying that only you can do that? Where is your humbleness as a "medicine man"?  I was taught healings do not come from man. And throwing in a Einstein quote that, let's just say has left me speechless. So with that I will exit


  • Guest
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2007, 05:24:36 am »

Hi Coffee Drinker.

I want to add that the reason I posted this interview was not because I questioned Thomas Lightning Bolts authenticity. 

First of all who am I to judge him. I have no evidence of any wrong doing. Not one person has come forward to say he has exploited his culture or his medicine. That he is charging for ceremony and so on.

I was interested in listening to objective feedback and dialogue on the interview, about what he had to offer and share. His music, his gifts, his musical talent, his knowledge and experience of practicing Native medicine. How this happened and came about.

I thought the story was really interesting and so have many people who have commented positively on it from all over the US. Other artists, poets and musicains etc.

My intention was to share his story and message. I obviously have made a mistake and posted it in the wrong forum. I sincerely apologize to him for doing this.

I do appreciate your feed back and comments.  I do how ever think some of your first comments were unsubstantiated and language inconsiderate of another persons feelings.

What I also question again is this criteria and beliefs as to who. how and why someone becomes a medicine man. Where these beliefs originated. Who created these rules and regulations in the first place. Where one rule seems to apply to one medicine man but not to another. This obvious contradiction.

For example, why can Fools Crow sell a book, but Thomas Lightning Bolt can not sell a CD. 

Websites were not around a hundred years ago either. Does that mean medicine men can not have websites. Or that they cant teach or give seminars.  That their time, knowledge, wisdom, experience is not valuable or is worth anything.
Also this negative conotation and label "plastic shaman". New age, old age. These distinctions. What this really means and what this is really about.

What I see is labels. A way of slotting someone, invalidating someone. Has nothing to do with truth or authenticty.

Black Elk used to be in a traveling circus. What does that mean?  Does that mean he was a fake. He was also catholic.  How do you explain that?  What does that make him?  New age hippy as well.

Fool Crow was also of the Baha'i Faith.  What does that make him?  A muslim. Medicine men are also people and people are not so simple or black and white. 

John Fire Lame Deer also belonged to the American church and took peyote. I do not remember reading anything about peyote in Lakota culture. Does that mean he was a a new age hippy like Carlos Castaneda , Timothy Leary or Ram Dass?  Where does it say a heyoka can take peyote?



  • Guest
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2007, 12:35:21 pm »
I did not label him with my words. He himself has done that with his own words. Go back and read the interview again as though you have never seen it.
Again I am expressing my opinion,
It is one thing to promote music if you are a musician, it is another to promote yourself as a "medicine carrier" and these are not my words but that of Mr Ligtning Bolt.
Let me ask you, how can you even compare  Black Elk, Fool's Crow and or Lame Deer with TLB? I ask that because in your words that is what you are doing.
What you have done is just take my words and manipulate them into meaning something more than what I have said.

I am not here to argue with your agenda. All I have said is this is bull, and no I don't think the fella is right in the head, he reads like a cheap novel.  I am speaking straightfoward with you, if you want to take that as labeling, as being mean, that is of your choosing and not mine.  Perhaps you should go ask some elder up on the rez to read your interview with him and find out what their take is on it.
Look I'm just a white guy that married into a Indian family. For 30 years all I've been around is grass roots traditional people, when I go to her family gatherings they look at me like I'm the devil, Ok, get my drift here. I never seen any of them promote their teachings on a music CD.
It's one thing to talk about your music and instruments you play, but this interview, lots of detail on obtaining personal medicine, in fact the interview itself is more of how he got his name, what he was taught and what he practices. Maybe if you would have kept it more on the subject of his music.

And as far as the three elders you have mentioned and what they did or dind't do, what they practiced or didn't practice I am not in the position to say. The only thing I can say is that I did meet Fool's Crow once many many years ago, when I went with my wife to S.D. to help her family out. What I saw in that short time was a man that lived in a extreme humble dwelling and had more faith is his little finger than most people will have in a life time. And that is all I will say on that matter.
If you want to know what I believe or think send me a personal message.  As I said I don't discuss my beliefs on the open internet

Offline Moma_porcupine

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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2007, 02:04:06 pm »
Hi Marlon

It's nice that you have come here to talk with us , and you sound like an intellegent and principaled person.

Like Weheli and Coffee_drinker , I also felt uncomfortable with *some* of the content of your magazine , and the interview with this Thomas Lightening Bolt character, is a good example of some of the content that made me uncomfortable .

I'm not saying I have a copy of the Indian rule book that I am reading from - just my own feeling and understanding . How i understand it is , stories of Sacred traditions or personal experinces of the Sacred , pictures of Ceremonial items , should not be shared on line .

For one thing , there is important content ( the most important part of the content) that won't be a part of the on line presentation , so what is shared is likely to be out of context and as useful as nice new tires without the actual car . Some people won't even realize there is supposed to be a car attached to the tires . The internet is the wrong way for people to learn about traditions .

I think another problem with sharing a personal Spiritual experince on line is that these experinces only happen because they have a job to do and they have an influence in a persons life . So removing a Sacred experince from the job it has to do , would usually be misusing a Sacred experince for the trivial function of obtaining attention and impressing people , or maybe making money . When we misuse things they usually get damaged or destroyed. I think there is also a belief that a personal experince of the Sacred , would need to have a job to do influencing the lives of everyone this was shared with , if this sharing was really being done for a good reason . So when people share a lot of personal Spiritual experinces or traditional information , with people they don't even know, this behavior seems to suggest that there is no real respect for the true source or function of these experinces . It also seems to suggest there is no sense of personal responsibility to retain the integrity  of a Sacred experince by guarding this experince from people who might misunderstand or misuse it .

As for the Elders who have had books wrtten about them , I think these books were usually written by people who were not Elders , and these Elders were simply asked if they would assist by allowing this .

These Elders werew not always happy with how the information they shared was used .

Thomas Mails , who wrote the book on Fools Crow for instance was not an Elder and has a reputation for being really insenstive in his use of information . I don't think Fools Crow was promoting himself . See the thread below on Thomas Mails .

The book about Black Elk was also written by someone else who wanted to promote what I hear was mostly their own idea of "Indian wisdom"  .

So there is a big difference between someone claiming to be a medicine person using the Sacred to gain public attention , and having someone else use a medicine person and what they hold Sacred to gain public attention or make money .

What you say about there being many contradictions is true . Partly that is because people are individuals with different strengths and weaknesses . Partly that is because there are many different Native cultures and traditions vary , and partly that is because traditional ways are now having to be practiced in non traditional contexts , so there is often different opinions on the right way to do things in a modern world .

But every respectful traditional person I know of , carefully guards what is Sacred , and would not publish some of the information I see people publishing in your magazine . 

« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 02:51:42 pm by Moma_porcupine »

Offline educatedindian

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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2007, 04:13:31 pm »
Marlon, the fact that you are willing to come here and listen to criticism says good things about you. But your judgement when it comes to Native issues really needs work. I honestly don't think you intended to, but you wound up promoting some of the worser and morer obvious exploiters and frauds posing as spiritual leaders. Seemingly anyone claiming online to be an NDN medicine man selling ceremony gets promoted in yoiur magazine.

(On the other hand the arts and political sections of your magazine are quite good.)

TLB, for example, is clearly no spiritual leader. No true elder would throw a childish fit and fall apart at the slightest criticism the way he just did.

Ms. Dupree is not only as phony as they come, she has smeared a great many good people and ACTUASL elders. Even the quickest check would show virtually no Lakota traditionalists buy her extremely dubious claims. Use the search function at the top and take a look at the thread on her.

Mala Pope also...well...take a look at the thread in here. Apparently he pressures or demands women sleep with him in order to get spiritual teachings. He has also managed to drain away most of the money for Native activism coming from Europe so he can build a Nuage center for naive whites.

Again, the fact that you are willing to ask questions and listen to criticism says a lot of good things. I only hope that you are willing to admit your mistakes and say so in future editions of your magazine.


  • Guest
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2007, 06:48:42 pm »

Hi Coffee drinker,

I was not comparing TLB with Fools Crow or Black Elk. Just asking the question why is it ok for these people to sell books but not for Thomas Lighting Bolt to sell a CD.  His music is really good by the way in my opinion.

Hi Moma_porcupine ,

Thank you for sharing that with me. Yes that is very interesting post on Thomas Mails. What about  Richard Erdoes who wrote the book with Lame Deer. Is there anything on him.

Hi Educated Indian

Thank you for your feedback.

You said. "Ms. Dupree is not only as phony as they come, she has smeared a great many good people and ACTUASL elders. Even the quickest check would show virtually no Lakota traditionalists buy her extremely dubious claims. Use the search function at the top and take a look at the thread on her"

This is what I found. Is this what you mean or is there more?