General > Frauds

Lewis Mehl Madrona

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Don Naconna:
I think this is clearly a fraud!

It appears he is a fraud. There is no record of Cherokee lineage or community plus reports don't look too awe inspiring. Yes I'd say move him on up to the fraud section

Defend the Sacred:
Bringing in some links from the Lench Archuleta thread

Workshops at yoga retreat center: Bio:

Article where he claims he's Lakota, and the Cherokee used Porcupine Quills for Acupuncture  :o   (Note past tense in how he discusses the Cherokee... and I just don't think he's ever been around quills to say such a thing). I guess someone told him the Cherokee don't have sweat and some of the other rites he's imitating. Not the first morphing fraud we've seen suddenly change to Lakota:

--- Quote ---Native American Bodywork Practices
by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD

In this piece, Lewis Mehl-Madrona, who is of Cherokee and Lakota heritage, shares insights into types of bodywork practiced by Native American peoples.

All peoples have methods for hands-on therapy, what we now call bodywork. The Cherokee people of North America, for example, were well versed in body therapies and energy healing. They developed a comprehensive, sophisticated bodywork system that encompassed a form of osteopathic massage and manipulation, breath, and energy work. Central to this technique are the alternation of deep pressure and gentle rocking release. The breath was also used to reanimate the body and “draw spirit” into affected tissues. They also used crystal scanning and healing as well as the channeling of spirits and energy medicine.

The Cherokee were also familiar with acupuncture meridians and used acupuncture, with needles made of thorns or porcupine quills, in healing.
--- End quote ---

Madrona's website: 

On this page he makes it clear he's selling the usual salad bar of nuage "therapies", and still selling fake NDN ceremonies. The title itself combines exoticism and spiritual tourism. "Adventures!":

--- Quote --- Coyote Medicine: Intensive Mind-Body-Spirit Healing Adventures

 ...hypnosis and/or imagery, body therapy, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, cognitive-behavioral therapy, family therapy, projective techniques including the use of native American images, shields, or animal images; and ceremony. The work might include meditation, Reiki and energy healing, yoga, craniosacral therapy, homeopathic consultation in these individualized programs.

Native American Sweat Lodge: Inipi 

Clients are introduced to the use of ceremony in therapy and for their own personal growth. Night sessions may take place outside in the medicine circle with a fire. Clients are prepared for a sweat lodge ceremony on the sixth or seventh evening and then, if they are strong enough or ready, are taken to the top of a nearby mountain to sit for the night and perhaps receive a vision. ...

--- End quote ---

That's pretty seriously offensive... "even" if it's  the newage, abbreviated and altered version of these ceremonies (much like what James Arthur Ray had people do).

--- Quote from: NDN_Outlaw on October 04, 2009, 03:10:26 pm --- He needs to go to the hill top. Straighten things out

--- End quote ---

Looks to me like he skipped that bit, and proceeded straight to putting others out, for pay.

Here's an article on Madrona from BlueCorn Comics. My bold.

Mehl-Madrona vs. Facebook critics
Lewis Mehl-Madrona came under fire recently for being a New Ager rather than a genuine Indian. Here's the story on him:

Lewis Mehl-Madrona
Lewis E. Mehl-Madrona, MD, PhD, (born January 26, 1954, Berea Kentucky, USA) is the author of the "Coyote" Trilogy. His work discusses healing practices from Lakota, Cherokee and Cree traditions, and how they intersect with conventional medicine (via a social constructionist model). Mehl-Madrona has been writing about the use of imagery and narrative in healing since the 1980s. Mehl-Madrona is certified in psychiatry, geriatrics and family medicine.
On Facebook several people were asking, "Who is this guy? Is he really an Indian?" Mehl-Madrona wrote the following in response:

More Indian Than Thou

By Lewis Mehl-Madrona

This weekend I was confronted by a man through facebook demanding that I prove my Native American heritage. He said I shouldn't say I have Native American heritage unless I am enrolled in a tribe.

I told him I didn't know if I was enrolled and had never looked into the issue. It wasn't important to me. I didn't want any casino money. I didn't want healthcare through the Indian Health Service. I didn't want government handouts. My grandfather (who was enrolled and was 100% Cherokee, though not genetically related to me) insisted that we never take government handouts. He raised me to follow in his footsteps. He married my grandmother, who at least thought she was Cherokee, had always been told that, and had a mother, my great-grandmother, who knew she was Cherokee, spoke the language and was a healer.

I had to think through my responses to my critic and they seemed worthy of this week's column. First I thought, since I describe myself as one-quarter Cherokee, one-quarter Lakota, one-quarter Scottish, and one-quarter French Canadian, which is as accurate as I can state it, do I need government approval to say that? I don't know anyone who requests government approval and sanctions before they say they are part French, or part Spanish, or part English. If I wanted casino money, that would seem appropriate, but I don't.

I thought this over with a friend, who said, "Why in the world would anyone tell a young person in the 1950s that he was Cherokee if he wasn't, especially in Kentucky." She had a point. It wasn't romantic to be an "Indian" until the 1970s. I grew up in the 1950s being told that I was and believing I was Cherokee, practicing Cherokee ways with my grandfather and grandmother (who raised me), and sometimes present in the background for the healings my great-grandmother practiced in our home.
This is a good answer as far as it goes. It's a lot better than all the "Native" actors who refuse to talk about their background.

I appreciate someone who's willing to describe his heritage in detail. It gives the impression of honesty and openness.

Healing for dollars

But not everyone agrees. Some comments on this column posted on Facebook:
I'm going to be honest here, claiming that someone's not Native if you don't have papers is wrong. A lot of names were changed, a lot of people left the trails, and a lot of people weren't on DAWES rolls, so whoever messaged him really did a disservice to the rest of us who really are trying to correct his problems.

For a man who owes his livelihood to the NA culture and faith and who so freely and proudly announces his Native lineage, to then not even have it occur to him to 'look into the issue' of its own validity is a bit strange!

In his response to the man confronting him he adds more insult to injury by implying that Native Americans' sole purpose for needing their heritage officially recognised is to scrounge off the government and live through handouts. In effect he is raising himself above the average Native and attempting to pander to 'white' preconceptions and prejudice in order to appease his paying audience. 'I'm a Native American!', he cries...just NOT one the THEM!!!

We are what we are! The hell with these people!

Exactly if you need a paper to tell u who u are then there are a few other problems that need addressing first.

To be proud of your Native American Ancestry is one thing, to use it as part of a business promotional packet is something else-that's called EXPLOITATION.

To use it as part of your business promotional packet and then be setting yourself up as a "Native Healer" with traditional ceremonies, whether you charge or not, you need to be trained by a legit Medicine person, and even those medicine people do not allow our ceremonies to be EXPLOITED--you can not read a book, talk to a couple of elders and think now you can do ceremonies. This is a lifetime of learning. It is a humble way of life.

I have article and in the article he said he does not know if his an enrolled member of the eastern band of the Cherokee tribe. Well I can help him with that because I have a list of all the enrolled members, and his name is not on it!

Comment:  I don't know who's right here. And I'm not sure anyone else does either.

But for Mehl-Madrona to say he doesn't know or care if he's an enrolled Cherokee seems a bit disingenuous. His answer should be "I'm not and it doesn't matter," not "I don't know but I'd like you to think I am."

As for his healing...if Mehl-Madrona is using and passing along legitimate ceremonies he learned from legitimate Cherokees, that's one thing. If he's peddling sweat lodges, vision quests, and other things that aren't part of the traditional Cherokee culture, that's something else.

I just found something of tangential relevance to this thread

--- Quote ---Cherokee Bodywork Session can include....

~ Cherokee use of acupressure, energy meridians, crystals, and energy medicine

~ Cherokee breathwork techniques, restoring spirit to all parts of the body.

~ Imagery & dialogue into bodywork to help transform and heal trauma


Cherokee Bodywork teacher I trained with is Lewis Mehl-Madrona, MD, graduated from Stanford University School of Medicine and trained in family medicine, psychiatry, and clinical psychology. He has been on the faculties of several medical schools, most recently with the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Hawaii. He is a Native American healer and author of the wonderful book, Coyote Medicine. He is currently the Coordinator for Integrative Psychiatry and System Medicine for the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Tucson. For more information please go to his site:
--- End quote ---


the is really not good IMHO

I am concerned that this man is promoting "Cherokee" versions of already dubious models of "therapy" including bodywork (usually massage or pressure point work), hypnosis and "breathwork".  Bodywork is sometimes a euphemism for sexual / intimate touching.  I am not claiming that is what is happening here, but in the context of all the other dodgy stuff it concerns me.  Hypnotism and breathwork concern me even more as they can be used to control and manipulate vulnerable people.

This guy if definitely someone to be concerned about IMO


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