I found out, to my amazement, that the editors planned to include him as a Native author. So I applied for, and got, the assmt to write his bio entry. Here it is, anyone is welcome to post it elsewhere:
Charles Storm AKA “Hyemeyohsts??? Storm AKA “Wolf??? Storm AKA “General??? Storm (1931- ).
The facts of Charles Storm’s early life are murky. Storm claims he was born on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to a Cheyenne mother, also alternately claiming his father was Sioux, Cheyenne, or German immigrant. Only the last is true. Storm is German-American with no Cheyenne ancestry or ties to the tribe, greatly loathed by Cheyenne and other American Indians. Storm is famous primarily for presenting a faux version of Cheyenne religion, one the actual Cheyenne consider blasphemous, exploitative, and disrespectful. His works and person are immensely popular with New Age audiences and equally reviled among Native Americans and their supporters.
In 1972, Charles Storm reinvented himself as “Hyemeyohsts??? Storm with Seven Arrows, joining other literary hoaxers who invented fictitious versions of Native spiritual beliefs like Carlos Castaneda. Natives, especially the Cheyenne, angrily protested the book as racist and stereotypical, “desecration,??? “grossly distortive,??? “outright lies,??? even “spiritual genocide.
Storm responded by producing a Cheyenne enrollment card, which turned out to be fraudulent. Storm’s publisher, Douglas Latimer, narrowly avoided a judgment against Harper and Row by paying “reparations??? to the tribe and re-labeling Seven Arrows as fiction. This did not stop Storm and his growing cult from claiming the book was literal truth. Storm’s appearances to promote his books or sell faux-Native ceremonies faced Native protests from Cheyenne elders like Joe Coyote and Bernard Red Cherries and activists like the American Indian Movement. Two subsequent books added Mayans to the list of Natives he offended, this time by falsely claiming the existence of “Zero Chiefs.
Virtually the only Native to defend Storm was Vine Deloria Jr. initially, who later recanted. Storm’s association with other imposters posing as Native medicine men such as Harley Reagan further diminished his credibility. His story took a bizarre twist when members of the Crow tribe, traditional Cheyenne enemies, claimed he was a distant relative, but also confirmed he is not Cheyenne.
Storm next attempted to become a leader of mixedblood Natives, founding the National American Metis Association (NAMA) in 2001. NAMA proved a huge failure, with under 300 members, less than 0.001% of Native mixedbloods. Many NAMA members were not aware of Storm’s involvement. NAMA’s leadership included astrologers, psychics, and one “dragon rescuer.
NAMA fled California to avoid paying back taxes and today rarely meets. Members of his inner circle also tried to remake his image through works in academia, with little success. Storm remains a pariah among Cheyenne and Native Americans as a whole, one of the most notorious “plastic shamans,??? even while his books remain popular among non-Natives unaware of how they appall Natives, or dismissive of Native objections.
“Hyemeyohsts??? Storm, Seven Arrows, New York: Harper and Row, 1972.
Further Reading and Works Cited
“New Age Fraud Alert Warning,??? Al Carroll, http://users.pandora.be/gohiyuhi/nafps/articles/art33.htm
“Plastic Medicine People Circle,??? Helene Hagen, http://www.sonomacountyfreepress.com/features/spirg-hagan.html, 4-15-05
“Seven Arrows Seven Years After,??? Lowell Jaeger, http://oncampus.richmond.edu/faculty/ASAIL/SAILns/42.html, 4-15-05.