Author Topic: Bobby Lake-Thom  (Read 56614 times)

Offline snorks

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Bobby Lake-Thom
« on: July 29, 2006, 06:12:47 pm »
He wrote an animal book that I do have.  I am curious - how is he a fraud?  Is he Indian or what?  His name also popped up in several museum exhibitions - he was helping them to curate some exhibits.  I got his book at the Smithsonian Museum shop.

As far as his book went, I just took it as a beginning point to explore ideas about animals.  He does present a lot of New Age mish-mash with Indian ideas.  I figured that was just him and to disregard it.

Offline debbieredbear

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Re: Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2006, 08:00:34 pm »
Maybe you should have posted this in the section for research. I can't tell you if he is a fraud or not. Just what my friend said that it was his wife who came from a powerful lineage, and that he (my friend) felt that she was the real power. My friend passed over in december, so I can't ask him anything.

Offline AlaskaGrl

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Re: Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006, 01:55:31 am »
Hello Snorks,

Within the Weylin thread I had made passing mention that Bobby Lake-Thom was according to Weylin, one of his teachers and I listed the following links:

 About: Bobby Lake-Thom (author), of the bestseller Native Healer.
http://www.loc.gov/catdir/enhancements/fy0644/2001005515-d.html
 
Bobby Lake-Thom was instructed by:
Wahsek, a medicine man in the northern mountains.

However I had made no remarks regarding him specifically as the thread had to do with Weylin.  And yes, perhaps the Moderators will move this thread to it's proper position under "Research."




Offline educatedindian

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Re: Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2006, 03:40:46 pm »
I think there was a discussion about his father, Charlie Thom, in the old yahoo group. From what I remember, many of us thought he was not a fraud but an elder (or "lapsed elder") who was doing things most would disagree with, specifically selling ceremony and franchising out "rights to do ceremony" to white wannabes for a price. What set off the discussion was a white wannabe who came to NAFPS saying she'd been authorized by him.

For his son, so far I'd say it's the same kind of mixed picture. He might have some knowledge, but does some things most would disagree with. Starting with "putting out a shingle" online to solicit customers.
http://www.nativehealer.net/Healer2005/about.html
"Medicine Grizzly Bear,also known as Bobby Lake-Thom is a traditional Native Healer from northwestern California. He is half Karuk, part Seneca, Cherokee, and part Anglo...taught and trained since childhood by twelve different medicine men/women, ceremonial leaders, and tribal elders.
Some of his teachers included Beeman Logan, Rolling Thunder, Mad Bear Anderson, Martin Highbear, Charlie Red Hawk Thom, Calvin Rube, Bonita Masten, Yurok Holyman Dewey George, Florence Jones (and numerous other medicine men/women from different tribes)."

Right there you see a problem, since RT was regarded by most as exploiters and Mad Bear was an an imposter. Martin Highbear also gets his name thrown around a lot since he passed on, with him conveniently no longer around. Bobby Thom seems to be claiming to be trained in a whole lot of traditions not his own. We used to have a Karuk member in NAFPS who herself caused a lot of controversy because she turned to Nuage ideas, arguing their traditions were long gone.

"His apprenticeship spanned two decades and then he was ordained on Doctor Rock, Chimney Rock, Trinadad Head, California; Seneca Mountain/Thunder Rock, in New York, and finally, on Mt. Shasta, California."

Ordained? He became a Christian minister? And I'm really bothered by him bragging about his alleged training in such detail.

 "For a better understanding of the significance, role, function, and status of “Bear Doctors??? or “Bear Medicine Men??? refer to the Shaman's Drum article (Winter, 1993) “Digging for Medicine: Bears in Native American Healing Traditions??? by David Rockwell. If you want a better understanding about "Indian Doctors and Shamans", Refer to the works of Alfred Kroeber (1928, 1942, 1976), Williard Park (1946), Joan Halifax (1978) and the research of other anthropologists."

Halifax is herself a pseudo shaman and so are the Shaman's Drum people.

"Bobby has conducted hundreds of ceremonies and lectures. He has been successfully doctoring Native people and non-Indian people for over twenty years. According to Indian custom and law he does not charge a fee for his doctoring and ceremonies, but according to the “law of reciprocity??? donations are usually offered in lieu of a fee for his healing work, spiritual counseling, and ceremonies."

At least he isn't demanding a big set fee up front like his father.

"He is the author of Native Healer (Quest Books, 1992) Spirits of the Earth (Plume/Penguin, 1998) and Call of the Great Spirit (Bear & Company, 2001). His numerous literary works have appeared in The Indian Historian, White Cloud Mental Health, The Shaman's Drum, Teacher's Magazine, Educator’s Digest, The Quest/Theosophical Society Magazine, Akwasasne Notes and Akewekon Literary Journal, Herbs Magazine; Humboldt Journal of Social Relations, and numerous other scholarly journals and magazines."

About half those journals are not scholarly, they're Nuage or pseudo shaman.

"He was a professor of Native American Studies for over 20 years teaching at Humboldt State University, Gonzaga University, and Eastern Montana College. He has served as a consultant for Indian reservation programs, tribes, organizations, and federal/state agencies for over twenty five years"

Like I said, a mixed picture. On most sites he's claiming to be a healer in either the Karuk tradition, or multiple traditions. I think the Seneca, like the other Six Nations, don't want anyone university trained as either elders or healers. But correct me if I got that wrong.

A comment from a review of one of his books.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0452276500/103-7189130-3129450?v=glance&n=283155
"The ceremonies in this book are sketchy at best.
In the medicine wheel discription Mr. Lake-Thom uses the colors of Black, White, Red, and Yellow like in Nick Black Elk's vision, but he reverses the places for Earth and Water (This is the 8th or 9th tradition I have seen for setting up a medicine Wheel."

So why would a Karuk be using a wrong version of Lakota medicine wheels?

"Interesting" link on his site:
"Star Ancestors (UFO, Aliens, and Indians)" http://www.nancyredstar.com/

WanderingNative

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Re: Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2006, 03:17:57 am »
Quote
I got his book at the Smithsonian Museum shop.
Be wary of the NMAI book shop. The books are not selected by the NMAI staff but by the Smithsonian book dealers and they go by the rankings from such places as Barnes and Noble, Amazon and the trades and not by authenticity of the information or the author. (I know, I worked there and had numerous arguments with the book buyers about some of the new age junk that was for sale in the museum's gift shop. I had several books pulled thankfully but not all of them and I haven't been able to make it back down there to raise any more noise.)

I had a list of new age books that the museum was selling.  Also, I can probably get in touch with someone who has had direct clashes with Bobby Lake and Dark Rain, the twin terrors of the wannabe world.  There's a guy I know on Indianz who has clashed with them several times because they were on the same commission board.

Offline snorks

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Re: Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2006, 07:28:24 pm »
Gee, um I didn't know that about the Smithsonian - I am more of a zoologist.  How is Lake-Thom the terror of the wannabes?  Or did I read that wrong.  

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2006, 04:35:48 pm »
I think he meant Bobby and DR are wannabes.
I went looking for DR Thom. She IDs as Shawnee. No idea how she could be related to the Thoms, who are Karuk, unless it's by a married relative somehow.
I didn't see anything obviously exploitative in her work, just a few strange things like claiming Shawnee women warriors fought naked to mess with the heads of their enemies. But maybe I'm missing something.
WN, what's she done? Is the history she's pushing false?

frederica

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Re: Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2006, 10:51:37 pm »
Talked with a friend of mine that is Loyal Shawnee. Stated it could have happen, but wasn't a practice. Sometimes the women did accompany their husbands but it was their role to fight.  But they would if they had to.  She said it sounds more like post-invasion ideas where the Europeans had to deal with 'scanty-clad NDN women. This DR Thom is from the "Ohio Shawnee". The Loyals were Tecumseh's. She didn't know if it differed or not. frederica








                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Offline RoseBlossom

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Bobby Lake-Thom
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2007, 12:13:51 am »
I saw this at my library, looked suspicious:

Robert Lake-Thom--
Spirits of the Earth: A Guide to Native American Nature Symbols, Stories, and Ceremonies
http://www.amazon.com/Spirits-Earth-American-Symbols-Ceremonies/dp/0452276500

Quote
From Library Journal
Native Americans believe that animal spirits can ultimately influence everyday lives. Lake-Thom, a healer and a descendant of three Native American tribes, combines his own experience, work with tribal elders, and readings from folk tales to explain the significance of good- and bad-luck symbols to these tribes. For instance, the hummingbird is considered to be a good-luck messenger that can carry a person's prayers to the Creator; in contrast, the owl is considered a sign of bad luck and a messenger of death. In a clear and straightforward writing style, the author defines symbols such as the turtle, bear, and coyote for Karuk, Seneca, and Cherokee tribes. He also includes several chapters on how one can get in touch with animal spirits through active participation in ceremonies and establishing sacred places. There is a helpful index and accompanying sketches. Recommended for public libraries.?Vicki Leslie Toy Smith, Univ. of Nevada, Reno
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

You can read the first page:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0452276500/ref=sib_fs_bod/104-3035076-7714324?ie=UTF8&p=S00K&checkSum=Rg7YMkRJLoh5OU39oeaDQs6BRaPAyijOUjiEP8WXFiU%3D#reader-link
And if you use the "Suprise me!" you can see more pages throughout (have to sign in)

It seemed very New Age and generic.

Also:
Quote
Robert Lake-Thom
Bobby Lake-Thom, known as Medicine Grizzly Bear, is a traditional Native healer and spiritual teacher of Karuk and Seneca descent (affiliated with the Quartz Valley Indian Reservation in California). He has been schooled in both Western and Native american traditions and has taught and lectured extensively aross the United States for more than three decades. He is the author of two previous books on Native American culture and spirituality, Native Healer and Chilula: People from the Ancient Redwoods, and his articles have appeared in The Indian Historian, The Journal for Ethnic Studies, Quest magazine, Shaman's Drum, and other publications. He lives near Mt. Shasta in Yreka, California.
http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Author/AuthorPage/0,,1000018487,00.html

Also see: Medicine Grizzlybear Lake

(I searched is Robert Lake-Thom on the forum and didn't find any threads, I didn't think to search the above name as I just found it, so if there's another thead please forgive me!)

http://www.nativehealer.net/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medicine_Grizzlybear_Lake

I have my ideas, but I rather leave it up to the experts!
« Last Edit: October 15, 2007, 12:17:42 am by RoseBlossom »

Offline RoseBlossom

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Re: Robert Lake-Thom
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2007, 12:22:06 am »
Well, looking a few pages back I found a thread about him, but not using a name I'd expected.

Bobby Lake-Thom
http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=818.0

There was nothing for Robert Lake-Thom or (I just searched) Medicine Grizzlybear Lake. So he goes by another name: Bobby!
Sheesh.

Sorry about double posting the same person.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Robert Lake-Thom
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2007, 01:01:47 pm »
Don't worry about it. Feel free to share your ideas too.

One of the links you found had something interesting, downright revealing.

http://www.nativehealer.net/Healer2005/prophecies.html
"The Prophecy:
A Great Purification and Earth Changes
By Medicine Grizzly Bear Lake-Thom
Traditional Native Healer and Spiritual Teacher
www. nativehealer.net (April 2006)

Introduction:

In March 1975, I had a shamanistic visionary experience on a sacred coastal mountain, Trinidad, in northwestern California...

The spiritual vision and prophecy involved a UFO type encounter with a Flying Saucer, and the prophecy and teachings were given to me by ancient ancestral spirits. Although I have been laughed at by the public, scorned by my colleagues at the university, and even ridiculed by some of the Native American people for bringing the experience to the public eye, I realize, now that the symbols in this vision, i.e. the example of the flying saucer were appropriate in this era. The experience changed my whole life because it made me emotionally and psychologically ill, the stress from it caused a divorce in my marriage, and the embarrassment to my employer cost me my teaching position. Several months later, after the alleged “Close Encounter???, I found myself unemployed, broke, sick, homeless and destitute. I had nowhere to turn but to the Elders and Medicine people of my tribes for therapy. The experience served to be a death sentence of the old self, it completely changed my life and life-style, and it also proved to be a calling into the spiritual-cultural profession. It was during this time that I went through one of my most intensive shamanic trainings, called in Yurok, hokep, (for elaboration on the concept, refer to Spott and Krober, 1942; Buckley, 1980). If it wasn’t for the open-mindedness of the Native elders and the use of traditional healing methods, I would probably still be sick, or locked up in a mental hospital. But the burden and responsibility of this knowledge still weighs heavy upon my mind, socio-cultural life, and the academic profession I used to support my family. It is not fun being stigmatized as a “Doomsday Preacher???.

The shamanistic visionary type experience, UFO prophecy as I call it, and the predictions I was given about future Earth Changes was first documented in a New Age magazine, Psychic Times (Eureka, 1975),"

So seemingly he's happy to put himself into the Nuage category. So were his elders, who still took pity upon him and helped heal him from his mental health problems.

He follows this with some pretty generic prophecies, the kind that'd fit almost any era. But there were a few that are amazingly wrong.

"There is a possibility that the 39th and/or 40th President of the United States will be assassinated. If such an event occurs it is an indication that a Third War is in the embryonic stage of development, before the mid-1980’s."

Not successfully assassinated anyway. There sure wasn't WWIII.

"Foreign and deadly insects will begin to enter the United States before the late 1970’s. This is sign that other countries who were originally U.S. allies will soon become deceptive enemies."

I can't think of any countries who became enemies over the "killer bees" that never showed up.
 
"Before the year 1986 the U.S. Government will nationally admit that they have recovered and posses a number of alien space craft and beings for scientific study."

What?!

"the possible sinking of some Pacific Islands, and the possible sinking of Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Japan before the late-1990’s"

?!

"A very large star or comet will almost collide with the Earth sometime during the late 1990’s."

?!

"From the years 1988 to 1998, then to 2008 earthquake activity may possibly increase yearly, thereby causing destruction of the Los Angeles-Bakersfield area, the San Francisco region, Denver, New York City, and Seattle."

?!
 
"A surprise attack of missiles might be made against the United States on the eastern seaboard, by a smaller country. As a consequence the United States will enter into a Third World War, which might turn into a intercontinental nuclear holocaust. China might become our strongest ally, while Russia will abstain from becoming involved. Shortly after the year 2002 there will be a coalition formed between the world’s superpowers with Russia serving as the mediator, and potentially emerging as the planetary leader"

So that's two world wars he falsely predicted.

Then he gives some fairly good advice, basically be better to each other, less selfish, etc. Followed by this amazing bit:

"What can people do to prepare for the potential purification?....As for the Native American people, our Elders advise: We are the original caretakers of this land. Bring back your sacred dances, rituals, and ceremonies. Perform the religious activities with cleanliness and according to traditional custom and law: No alcohol, no drugs, abstain from sex, avoid Moontime (menses power and energy), do not record or photograph these activities, and do not sell the religion for profit; otherwise it will not be spiritual."

And this:
"for the non-Indians, the Elder’s advise....another way concerned people can help prepare for the alleged Great Purification and potential predictions is to help the Native American people with their aboriginal and legal rights: Make your governments sanction and honor the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (PL9S-341), make your government, large corporations, exploiters, and tourists leave the sacred sites alone, and help support the traditional Native healers and ceremonial leaders"

I'd still say it's a mixed picture. If some of his questionable activity, like putting out a shingle online, resulted from mental health problems, that's something that makes him less worse than a Harley or a Brooke.

windbear

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Re: Robert Lake-Thom
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2008, 11:29:17 pm »
I know bobby lake thom personally.Ive also read his books,heard him lecture.spent time with him and have done swets,and watched and participated in healings(indian doctoring) He is a well of knowledge.I came across this blog un intentionally and was really put out by the the way educated indian tares into this man.Are you an indian? are you a traditional?a spiritual man?have you personally grown up emmersed in whom ever your peoples culture and laguange is?There are no pure cultures left.If a man who wants to teach spirituallity he must be diverse and now and understand all customs and cultures.Do you know his father charlie thom is the last of the karuk speakers amongst his people and very well could be one of the last full blood karuks alive?How does one expect indian people to be completly traditional when most have no idea of there culture do to its bastardazation mixing of races and other indian peoples,not to mention the assimalation into christianity ect the genocide of there languages cultures and beliefs.People like bobby keep the ways and beliefs of indigenous peoples alive and allow others who have been a victim of the revisinost history of the indian people to learn and particpate in way that they can understand.If you leave the knowledge and wisdom that the creator has given to us for only a few who choose not to share with ALL THERE RELATIONS then that will also die and be forgotten just as the great ones

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Robert Lake-Thom
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2008, 11:09:46 am »
Most of what you say is ad hominem atacks on me, not worth responding to. The arguments about who to share with and how have been debated many times, with Nuagers usually being the ones to repeat the arguments you make.

I said "a mixed picture." How is that something as ridiculous as you claiming I "tear into" him? Almost everything in my post were his own words. And he admits to a long history of mental illness, puts himself in the Nuage category, and makes a lot of very wrong predictions that are straight out of supermarket tabloids and End Times Christianity.

As I said before,, his mental health problems make him a mixed picture. He's worthy of pity, except for the way Nuage people use him and don't seem to care about his being vulnerable. To call him a well of knowledge seems ridiculous.


windbear

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Re: Robert Lake-Thom
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2008, 02:56:15 pm »
Im not attacking you what so ever and please excuse me if you have mis interpeted by my intentions.Being that the man is a friend,I was compelled to defend him.To me knowing him personally I guess I have a diffrent approach to him and what he has to say.Im not saying that I agree or dis agree with the info. in his books or believe all that is written,but in any case,as a human being I find him to kind generous,and very interesting to speak with.I dont want any one to think Im trying to doubt you personally.As I said I am new to this and no idea of your credentials,and will all respect.Your opion is accepted gracfully.The mental illness thing is a bit over the top,you can criticize his work and his credentials,thats all fair game,but that comment came across to be hatefull, maliciuos.un called for and un neccissary,even if its mentioned in his book.You obviously are an educated man,and could have chosen better and more compassionate terms to describe your disgust.As for bobby there are those who will continue to like him and those who wont.Such is life.I would however like to continue participating in this forum and hope you dont find that offensive.

Laurel

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Re: Robert Lake-Thom
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2008, 03:44:30 pm »
Speaking just for myself, I'd be less offended if you read around the forum a bit more before you posted much.  I thought your intro post was OK, since it expressed a desire to learn and some humility. 

If you look around a little more, you'll find that almost every time someone is presented for research here, a fan of that person rushes over to defend him/her.  They very often say that it's meeting the person that matters and not whether or not that person is exploitating native religions for profit. This site is, however, about people who exploit Native religions for profit; charisma is not an issue here.  The defenders very often quote a Lakota phrase as if it applied universally to all humans in all situations--but NAFPS is all about explaining that native religions are not all the same and are not open to all who want to practice them. 

Examples:  the Karuk and Seneca very probably don't "do sweats," as this word has come, in popular usage, to mean the Lakota inipi.   I doubt there's any such thing as a universal method of "Indian doctoring."  Saying the old ways have been killed by assimilation and then saying further prostitution is the only thing that will save them makes no sense.  (Frankly, if they were my traditions, and they had been reduced to a plastic dream catcher hanging on some moron's rear view mirror, I might be tempted to let them die. But I know I'd feel inclined to fight for them.)  You are defending the revisionism you say you don't like. This revisionism hurts Native people and cultures every day, and it's perpetuated by everyday Americans who believe that Native Americans are pretty much all dead, that when they were alive they they all lived in tipis and "did sweats," and that the living ones who take offense at offensive crap like "do-your-own-sweat lodge" books are the real racists and need a lecture on their own religions. 

In short, you come off as arrogant, self-contradictory (are his books part of his "well of wisdom" or not?), belligerent, and defensive. You insist you were misinterpreted.  No, you weren't, not anymore than Natives need to be threatened with an afterlife in obscurity (why do you think they care whether you remember them?) if they dare argue with your interpretation of "mitakuye oyasin." If you really want to learn, do like Judge Judy says and put on your listening ears.

I'm giving you a hard time about some things others have done.  I don't mean to say you've done all these things. I'm just saying that many of us here have seen and read it all before, and that if you really want to learn you have to drop your defenses and listen, really listen, to what others say.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2008, 07:03:49 pm by Laurel »