I realize we have some new people here who believe in this, so I've started this thread. Here's the letter that was passed along to them. I might try to write up a warning based on it:
Pass this email along to them.
Here's a specific link you could send them.http://users.pandora.be/gohiyuhi/nafps/articles/art01.htm
You could also direct their attention to number 9 on this list.http://users.pandora.be/gohiyuhi/nafps/articles/art34.htm
My personal message to them would be that I hope they come to see three main points:
1) It is not only wildly inaccurate, it is also disrespectful to try to lump together literally tens of thousands of different tribal beliefs together under "shamanism". Not even most Siberian peoples use the term.
2) It is frankly wishful thinking to try and pretend:
a. a haphazard bunch of practices stolen from tribal traditions...
b. by an unrelated collection of lost people...
c. usually led by those who often got their "advanced" training at a weekend seminar...
have any similarity whatsoever to tribal traditions that are:
a. built up over many generations with great care b. by people with common lineage and culture
c. led by tribal elders who are trained for DECADES, not over a weekend.
To me the "shamanism movement" is more accurately termed the would-be shaman movement, or in the case of many of its more exploitative leaders like Michael Harner, the pseudo-shamanism bunch.
3) In the end, "core shamanism" is wishful thinking, a way of justifying theft of tribal traditions and practices by falsely claiming they are "universal". Outside of incredibly broad things like belief in a deity or afterlife, that just isn't ever true.
And incidentally, they should realize that Michael Harner is a pariah to both his former profession, anthropology, and to Native people.http://users.pandora.be/gohiyuhi/frauds/frd0002.htm
I also welcome any questions they care to send me, or any discussion on the forum.
Dr. Al Carroll
St. Phillip's College