Author Topic: Heywhatever Storm  (Read 7079 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Heywhatever Storm
« on: January 29, 2005, 01:35:25 am »
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 2003 20:48:10 -0000
Subject: [nafps_again] Warning on Heywhatever Storm
Sorry it took so long to find this for you Barnaby.

Trish, could you add this to the website?
And I know, too many all caps. But there's no way to make italics in a yahoo post that I can see.


By Rupert Costo, President of the American Indian Historical Society and Publisher of The Indian Historian
     Seven Arrows brings disgrace to its publisher, Harper and Row. It falsifies and desecrates the traditions of the Northern Cheyenne, which it purports to describe.
     This reviewer withholds judgment as to whether Mr. Storm is a Cheyenne as he claims to be.* He certainly shows little or no understanding of the Cheyenne Way. The publisher circulated a letter giving Storm's enrollment number. But an enrollment number does not an Indian make! Quite a few Anglos and some blacks were adopted into Indian tribes. Sometimes the Indians were forced by the US government to accept them. In other cases whites were fraudulently enrolled.
     If indeed he is an Indian, the tribal chairman states "I don't know how he got on the tribal rolls." Shame on him for making a blasphemous travesty of the Cheyenne Way in Seven Arrows.
     This is a book put together with considerable pretensions.
The first thing that strikes the eye is the illustrative work:
1) The color plates are a solid disaster, in extremely poor taste, and the end result desecrates the Cheyenne religion. The Cheyenne do not use such garish colors. Theirs were the colors of the earth.
2) The designs are actually blasphemous to Cheyenne religion, portraying their religious motifs in the worst possible manner, making a mockery of the religious beliefs and the theological system of the people.
     There are so many irreligious and irreverent inaccuracies in this book that a committee of the Northern Cheyenne is now examining it in detail.** The reaction of Cheyenne people at Lame Deer was disbelief and anger: "Bunk!"
1) His description of the Sun Dance is WRONG.
2) His drawing of the Sun Dance Lodge is NOT Cheyenne.
3) The Four Sacred Directions are INACCURATELY described as north-south-east-west. They are in fact the northeast-northwest-southeast-southwest.
4) The sacred number given is WRONG.
5) The Cheyenne shield colors are WRONG. They are red, black, white, and yellow, not the monstrosity of color shown in the plates.
6) The shield designs are WRONG and actually BLASPHEME the Cheyenne religion.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Heywhatever Storm
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2005, 01:36:20 am »
Warning cont'
     The publisher has boasted this will be a best seller. Not surprising. This is a White Man's interpretation of the Cheyenne. A reader searching for a true interpretation of the Cheyenne people will not find it in this book.
     It is most unfortunate that this author, who has no religious or secular status in the tribe, is so presumptuous as to bestow "Indian" names upon his White benefactor, Douglas Latimer, a vice president of Harper and Row. Only the tribe and religious leaders can do this. In performing such an irreligious act, Storm has outraged and insulted the Cheyenne, their tribal traditions, and religion. On the other hand, it is inconceivable any self-respecting individual would accept a pseudo-Indian name given by one who is not authorized to do so. No self respecting Indian would do it either. It is ump quah, as we say.
     This reviewer wonders whether Storm is attempting to create a new theology for the Cheyenne.*** If so he has failed, and succeeded only in vulgarizing one of the most beautiful but least known religions of man.

This review originally appeared in The Indian Historian, Vol. 5, No.
2, Summer 1972. The emphases and numbering were added.

*Subsequent research has turned up two possibilities not known at the time Costo wrote his review. Storm's real first name is Charles or Chuck. At other times he has also taken the pseudonyms "Wolf Storm" or "General Storm." He is, in fact, German-American, and is blue-eyed, blond-haired, and fair-skinned. A few Native people have come forward claiming to be relatives of his, and it's possible he may have a small amount of Crow ancestry. These distant Crow relatives in turn have Cheyenne relatives, which may account for how he was fraudulently enrolled.
** Storm's publisher Harper and Row escaped a lawsuit by publishing the book as fiction. At the same time, Storm and the inner circle of his cult followers maintain his books are absolutely and literally true.
***Storm remains a pariah to the Cheyenne. There is no sign of any Cheyenne accepting his blasphemous take on Cheyenne belief. Storm himself has never lived among the Cheyenne, and today lives near the Crow reservation on the profits from his books and selling ceremonies to white New Agers. His appearances to sell ceremonies and promote his blasphemy of Cheyenne beliefs are always heavily protested.

The National American Metis Association (NAMA)
    A few people with distant Native ancestry as well as numerous New Age adherents have taken Storm's beliefs as their own. Storm and his cult have tried to position themselves as the leader of the "American Metis."
(Metis is the term in Canada for people of mixed Native/French ancestry. The real Metis in Canada have no ties to Storm or the so-called "American Metis.")
    Storm and his inner circle formed the National American Metis Association (NAMA), posing as a civil rights group. To date, they have been a spectacular failure, with less than 400 members, less than 1/1,000 of 1% of Native mixedbloods in the US. Many of the lay membership of NAMA are people curious about their distant Native ancestry, and are unaware of Storm's role, or the collection of New Agers, astrologers, self-styled psychics, and "dragon rescuers" who make up the leadership of NAMA.
    In 2002, NAMA left the state of California to avoid paying back taxes, moving to an undisclosed location in Arizona. They have been facing an attempt to have their tax-exempt status voided.
    One of the leaders of NAMA, Emily Vardaman, also faced legal action from the University of Arizona when she falsely claimed on NAMA's website to be using Storm's "medicine shield" beliefs as a model in her teacher education courses. It subsequently turned out she had only briefly discussed them in a project as an undergraduate student.
    NAMA and its members are working to secure their influence within Cochise County Arizona, where some of them are members of the local bureaucracy. Several of the NAMA leadership, including Leon Perley AKA "Blue Wolf" also received funding from the Massachusetts State Prison System for their "medicine circle."

1) Do NOT buy Storm's books or recommend them to others. Above all, do NOT rely on them for an accurate picture of Cheyenne beliefs.
2) AVOID NAMA and the people associated with them. These include Mary Harper-Bellis, Wolfsong Ranch, the "medicine circles" they have formed, and the would-be "American Metis artist" with the comical would-be "Indian name" of Rainbow Laland.
3) Pass on what you have learned here.
4) Report their activities to American Indian activists such as the American Indian Movement, New Age Frauds Plastic Shamans, and Red
Road Collective.

SOURCES: Emails with members of the NAMA leadership, the University of Arizona, and the NAMA and Storm websites.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Heywhatever Storm
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2005, 11:56:05 pm »
Michael Two Horses" <>  
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 23:42:24 -0000
Subject: [nafps_again] Re: Warning on Heywhatever Storm - Some Extra Thoughts

I read your message this morning, Nate, and I've been thinking about a response all goes:

I think that the harm comes in a couple of forms, and stems from some underlying problematic assertions on Storm's part and assumptions on the part of non-Indians.  First, there's the problem
of his fraudulent claim to Tsistsistas (Cheyenne) heritage; such a claim is intended to lend authority to the material even if the disclaimer that the material is "fictional" is present.  Never
underestimate the power of denial coupled with desire (or desperation), something that I have found more than abundantly present in new-agers and others who use Storm's book as a "handbook"
of Tsistsistas spirituality (and who do the same with other similar books about other tribal belief systems).  That segues into the second problem, that though the material is claimed to be ficticious, it is nonetheless considered by many new-agers and other abstracters of Native cultures to be authentic; that the disclaimer was made by Storm in a "nudge-nudge-wink-wink" gesture to avoid
trouble with either the Southern or Northern Cheyennes (he got it anyway).  Vine Deloria wrote eloquently of the fact that "non-Indian
experts" become the arbiters of authenticity in what amounts to a de facto process; since new-agers and other exploiters don't go to Indians to determine the authenticity of materials, but rather to self-proclaimed academic or other Indian "experts," Indian input is effectively squelched.
When you think about it, it's a perfectly rational mode of behavior (remember, "rational" and "morally correct" are often two different
things entirely), that these folks would seek out non-Indian "expertise" rather than input from Indians; in contemporary times, they've learned that many of us view them as exploiters, that
many of us are not happy with their activities, and it wouldn't make much sense for them to seek validation from people who aren't the least bit interested in validating them.
It's my opinion that these problems lend themselves to the perpetuation of stereotypy of Indian peoples; that in itself is a reason to make sure that people are educated about the unreality of the material that Storm and others like him put out.
Hope that helps,

--- In, "Nathan Cowlishaw" <nrcowlishaw@y...> wrote:
> Mibby,
> I have an Idea to mention real quick. HeyWater Storm which I will  call him has been accused as a Fraud. I need some people to shed some
> light on this idea which I cannot get out of my head.
> Storm marketed his book as "Fiction" and under fiction nothing should  be considered as Fact. Since the medicine wheel, the four directions,  and the ceremonies in Seven Arrows is all FAKE, or made-up out of > Storms head, isn't it possible that he did this on purpose?
> If this is the case, New Age Wannabees all over the world, will > listen to this book, take it as Fact and Instruction, and practice  this fake religion. In a way, doesn't this protect the ACTUAL  religion? Storm has literally steered the wannabees away from actual  ceremony.
> Everyone got upset because everything in Storm book is wrong?
> I can see that his stealing of Indian Names, or the Words Cheyenne or  whatever can also be considered Fraudulent. But anyone who could
shed > some further thoughts on this, I would be greatful.
> Nate


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Re: Heywhatever Storm
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2005, 06:25:12 am »
I'm going to try and work on the website today.

But, could you do ma a big favor and send me a pm when you have something for me to add - that way I dont miss anything.