James Mooney publicly defended Nemenhah and Landis at this site below. In fact Mooney seems to indicate he knew Landis was a convicted serial con man.
Much of the article is worth reposting because it points out Landis is basically doing a fraudulent knockoff of Mormon beliefs.
So is one of the comments, where a man lost his mother to Landis's and ONAC's phony treatments.
First is Mooney's defense of Landis, then the relevant portion of the article, then the comment by a man whose mother was killed by Landis's urging her to avoid medical care.
James WFE Mooney Sep 8,2010 10:20 am
When Oklevueha NAC authorized Phil ‘Cloudpilier’ Landis Independent Branch of Oklevueha NAC, we were familiar of Mr. Landis personal history
and of his heritage. We found him to be very astute in his knowledge of the plant kingdom and a distant descendent of Chief Joseph. However, this knowledge was not the deciding factor of Phil receiving a Independent Branch of Oklevueha NAC, the spirit to strengthen by protecting Mr. Landis already blossoming gifts was the major motivation. He has brought nothing but honor and respect of service to Oklevueha NAC and his heritage.
....The Nemenhah’s websites claim, however, that the people known as the Nemenhah came to North America from the Middle East before the Christian era, and settled in the Four Corners area. Records (the Mentinah Archives) of their history and beliefs were preserved there, and only were recently (2004) translated into English. If this history sounds awfully like what is in the Book of Mormon, then it may interest you to know that the Nemenhah supposedly joined Hagoth, a figure in the BoM, when he left his homeland.
The LDS church, however, does not recognize the Mentinah Archives as authentic. The irony there is so thick you could cut it with a knife.
For suggested initial and monthly “donations,” you too can become a member of the Nemenhah, can buy their tribal medicinals, and can even sell them to your friends and family by joining the Nemenhah MLM.
Being afforded “spiritual adoption” means protection under federal law, the Nemenhah website says. “As a Nemenhah Medicine Man or Woman you will be able to practice your Healing Ministry under the full weight and protection of the Native American Free Exercise of Religion Act 1993 (NAFERA) and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act 1993 (RFRA).”
There is no archeological or historical evidence of a people named the Nemenhah living in the Four Corners, however. (There is also no similar evidence corroborating the Book of Mormon, but that’s another story.) The US Bureau of Indian Affairs and Native American organizations do not recognize the Nemenhah as a valid tribe or nation, either.
Contrary to Native American practice, the Nemenhah’s online healing academy charges money (aka donations) for training to be a medicine man or woman. The Hausers, including Daniel, are medicine men, according to news reports.
You cannot become a member of a recognized Native American nation, tribe or people by paying money. To gain membership, your ancestors had to have been Native Americans, and you have to prove it. Saying your great-grandfather was Cherokee, for example, does not mean you are a Cherokee.
For that matter, paying money to a church for training or religious education is pretty atypical, unless the church happens to be the Church of Scientology.
The presumed head of the organization, known formally as the Nemenhah Band and Native American Traditional Organization (Oklevueha Native American Church of Sanpete), is Phillip R. Landis, who goes by the pseudo-Native name of “Cloudpiler.” Landis is a naturopath by profession.
Landis, coincidentally, wrote the foreword to the “translation” of the Mentinah Archives and published the English translation. The original texts are supposedly locked away in a safe location, while five unnamed translators voluntarily work on the translation.
Someone on a Mormon forum site challenged the authenticity of the Mentinah Archives. Landis, under the unlikely name of Ea-lea Powitz Peopeo, responded with a lengthy diatribe providing arcane details about the Nemenhah and the archives, all couched in language to appeal to a Mormon readership.
"Those who want a better idea of what the Lord is doing to bring forth these translations can go back and study how the Lord did it with Joseph Smith. It is very similar. The heavens are opened. The original writers and God are very much involved in helping the translators. This should not be a surprise to anyone, yet it is a great stumbling block for many because of the condition the prophets and Christ said the Church and the world would be in in our day. For example, there are those who simply do not believe that God will allow anyone to be a translator unless he is one of the General Authorities of the Church. They don’t recognize that Joseph Smith was a translator before he was called to be the head of the Church. The fact is, God can call anyone He wants to be a translator, even an ignorant farm boy."
More of his rationalizations can be found here: http://blog.nemenhah.org/
The organization and financial structure of the Nemenhah and its MLM seem pretty sketchy to me, but I am not a lawyer.
Speaking of the law, Landis several years ago had some legal problems in Montana and Idaho regarding a mushroom-growing business that encouraged farmers to grow reishi mushers and be paid for their harvest. Some farmers allegedly never got paid.
The layers of deceit in this story are almost too many to count. We have a family who have bought into (literally) a supposed Native American church. This church claims to give its members protection under federal Indian Affairs law, but the church and the Nemenhah tribe in fact are not recognized Native American entites.
Meanwhile, the sole reason for the Nemenhah Band’s existence apparently is to peddle a line of “traditional” medicinals, using a dubious MLM scheme, to people like the Hausers, who want alternative ways to stay healthy....
LINKS OF INTEREST:
Minnesota Public Radio report: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2009/05/07/parents_refuse_treatment_for_son/
Indian Country Today report on the Nemenhah:http://www.indiancountrytoday.com/archive/28147394.html
galigo May 15,2009 4:55 pm
My mother died because she followed his healing advice instead of receiving medical treatment. Here is a copy of an email I sent the chief. email@example.com
Phil Landis (AKA Cloudpiler),
Thanks to all the publicity you’re receiving from this Daniel Hauser case, I finally caught up to you. I’m sure you’ve wanted to know how things ended up with my mother, Richelle, your neighbor at Parks Place, Hideaway Valley, UT.
If your memory needs refreshed, she had uterine cancer, which is 75% to 95% survivable with appropriate (medical) treatment.
However, you advised her to use your alternative healing methods, which she did.
As you were aware, she became sicker and sicker, as she continued to do what you advised her to do. When I came to visit her, you would disappear.
When she became so sick that she needed 24 hour care, my wife and I brought her to our home in Idaho. Here, we cared for her and loved her until she died.
Then, I saw your mugshot on the local TV news, convicted of fraud.
Now, I see you’re using religion to cover your multi-level marketing scam to distribute the same healing methods that lead to my mother’s death.
To top it off, I understand you claim to have discovered and translated some ancient plates which prove you’re the chief of some lost tribe of Native Americans!
Do you have any idea how ridiculous that is? Sadly, there are people who innocently fall for your deceit. Like my mom did.
I wonder how many other people have died because of what you do.
Does it bother you?
Here’s something you should know: My wife and my dad both had cancer at the same time as my mother. Weird, huh. The thing is, my wife and my dad are still here. Cured by surgery. Perfectly healthy now.
I miss my mom, and every time I think of her slow, painful, rotting, stinking death my heart breaks all over again.
You are not only a fraud, chief, you’re a killer.
I’m going to post a copy of this letter to the blogs that come up on the first search page when your name is googled.