Author Topic: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference  (Read 8308 times)

Offline not_ur_spirit_animal

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Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« on: November 17, 2011, 07:51:15 pm »
I am extremely disturbed.  I was initially alerted to http://changingtimeschangingworlds.org/ because of one of the presenters who had been claiming to be Mi'kmaq-

Bob Bestwick

Bob Bestwick was a military survival training instructor and an Army Ranger. He has studied martial arts and mountain climbing for many years, and had some interesting experiences in the mountains, which continued the spiritual experiences he'd had since the age of 4 (when he stayed out overnight and discovered that he had guides). As an adult he has been been taking training in the Mic-Maq way of his grandfather's tribe.

His workshop -

Mic-Mac Magikal Systems – Bob Bestwick

How Mic-Mac magikal systems can aid and clarify your magikal workings. I cannot teach you certain of our practices, but there are branches of esoterica that are allowed and many Europeans have developed similar tools. This will require two blocks of time, one for explanation, one for trance work. Plan to attend both.

Discussion

1. Smudging as a tool. The materials used, the intent involving the ancestors in it. This can clear evil from any space when done properly with enough knowledge and power behind it.

2. Trance development to fit the work being done. How place, direction, helpers and tools affect it.

3. Contact and aid from your strongest allies, your ancestors and the beings that they are allied with.

Practice

1. Trance with smudging practice.

2. Meeting that you never thought that you knew in trance as well as a few of mine. This is actual experience and will be a guide to deepening the bond to the other worlds.

3. The deep importance to ethics and personal character in a life along the trail of power and obligation.
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I contacted Dr Daniel Paul who told me that Mr Bestwick was NOT recognized as Mi'kmaq, was not authorized to present or teach as Mi'kmaq and to contact the organizers suggesting they contact MACS http://www.mikmaq-assoc.ca/.  I did as Dr Paul asked.  One of the organizers was very kind and understanding, the other outright hostile toward me.  Mr Bestwick will NOT be preforming.  The organizers included him in our exchanges and I attempted private contact as well.  He has not responded.

The next person I brought up to them was Dennis Seavey-Windsinger -

Dennis Seavey Windsinger

Dennis Seavey-Windsinger began his journey on the pathway of Akichita Wakan' literally from the crib.  Of mixed ancestry, Dennis was surrounded by the oral traditions, ceremonies, and traditional skills of the Elders around him simply as day to day elements in his life.  Dennis had his first conscious  metaphysical experience at the age of five and has been following the pathway of Akichita Wakan' from that time onward, whether knew or wanted to or not.  An artist, musician, storyteller, craftsman, healer, teacher, nationally ranked bodybuilder, film maker, author, and actor, Dennis focuses on helping people find the personal connection to those spiritual tools that connect them to the natural rythm of the universe and the energy of the great mystery.  He currently lives in Central Vermont with his wife Alice and son, Kieren, two dogs, two cats, a confusing number of chickens, and three part time goats.  He will be offering CDs and DVDs on the author's table and has made a limited number of Native American inspired jewelry of sacred stones and reproductions available to members of the Changing Times Changing Worlds conference through Cabechon's. http://www.myspace.com/dennisseavey-windsinger

His workshops -

Akichita Wakan': Way of the Sacred Warrior-
Dennis Seavey-Windsinger

 Throughout human history, there have been those warriors who have achieved metaphysical awaking and spiritual growth through the intense discipline and practice of their martial lifestyle. From the Shaolin Monks of China, the Native American Warrior Societies, the Samurai of Japan, the Holy Orders of Knighthood, etc., come some of the most selfless and enlightened people in history. Learn how the path of a sacred warrior can be used to achieve spiritual and metaphysical growth, as well as experiencing first-hand the calm eye of the storm center through actual physiomeditative exercises and techniques. Participants should wear comfortable clothing that they can move in and a mat for the floor if they wish.

Walking the Red Road: Basic Native American Indian Ceremony- Dennis Seavey-Windsinger

 Learn the symbolism, significance, and what is actually involved in creating effective and practical Native American ceremonies to enhance personal spiritual growth, healing, and transformation. This seminar will address some of the most commonly misunderstood, and misused, Native American ceremonies: the Sweat Lodge, Vision Quest, Sun Dance, and Prayer Pipe Ritual, in a straight forward fashion that focuses on the common symbolism and elements, rather than a specific tribal perspective. The goal is to clear up misconceptions, and give the attendee the necessary tools to utilize these extremely powerful ceremonies in their personal life. Time will be allotted for questions and answers.
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Obviously he is not really Akichita Wakan and not a member of a community as he called his jewelry Native American inspired.  The kind organizer has said nothing about him and is now out of contact until Monday, the hostile organizer was, well, hostile  ;)

But what was most disturbing to me was this -


Aspects of Living at a Goddess Temple - Trent Millet

Aime "Trent" Millet was honored to reside at, serve and be a student and practitioner at the Phoenix Goddess Temple. A true church dedicated to woman's wholeness as nourisher, healer, rebirther and Goddess in companionship with God. As our high Priestess says "Our God is a happy God, he has someone to rub his shoulders, listen to him and it hasn't been 2 thousand years since he's had sacred union". Goddess! Seriously though residing at and serving this Goddess Temple was the most sacred encounter with a universal healing and renewal field I ever encountered. This will be a sharing with feedback to contemplate the meaning of that kind of encounter!
A block of fun!
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My concern is that the Phoenix Goddess Temple people are recruiting on college campuses or in college towns.  This conference is taking place at the hotel at UMASS Amherst. http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=3435.0
« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 08:12:39 pm by sky »

Offline RedRightHand

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2012, 11:11:59 pm »
The event is happening again this weekend.  There are fewer presenters than last year, but some of the same frauds and appropriators are back. One of the conference organizers, Jane Sibley, is now claiming to teach Sami traditions.

http://www.changingtimeschangingworlds.org/programming/presenters/

http://www.changingtimeschangingworlds.org/programming/workshops/

Ancestors in Norse and Sámi Traditions- Jane Sibley

"Naming customs of descendants were a part of Norse life. In some cases, noble families (or wannabee nobles) claimed a god as their clan father as a means of legitimizing their nobility. In other cases, a deceased ancestor might order a given course of events, including the naming of a baby. One could also, in trance, contact ancestors for advice or help."

Ironically, her workshop description mentions wannabes of one sort, without admitting that, as far as I know, she is a Sami wannabe. Sibley has been writing books and teaching at New Age events for many years. I think if she had any Sami cultural background, she would have mentioned it before now. Either way, doing pay to pray on the backs of the Sami is not OK.

http://www.changingtimeschangingworlds.org/programming/presenters/

Someone named Andrea Brenton is dressed like a pretendian man, and has this to say:
"Taking up the Shawl"
"In the past few years, I have found myself at peace, learning of the Native American culture, following the Red Road."


There are other Non Native people on the page making similar claims, along with reiki, core shamanism, and new age fluff. This particularly offensive pretendian is making a return visit:

"Dennis Seavey-Windsinger began his journey on the pathway of Akichita Wakan’ literally from the crib.  Of mixed ancestry, Dennis was surrounded by the oral traditions, ceremonies, and traditional skills of the Elders around him simply as day to day elements in his life.  Dennis had his first conscious  metaphysical experience at the age of five and has been following the pathway of Akichita Wakan’ from that time onward, whether knew or wanted to or not.  An artist, musician, storyteller, craftsman, healer, teacher, nationally ranked bodybuilder, film maker, author, and actor, Dennis focuses on helping people find the personal connection to those spiritual tools that connect them to the natural rythm of the universe and the energy of the great mystery."


Uh... right. He is pictured with a big beard and no shirt. This is the guy who does workshops teaching Non Natives like himself to make up ceremonies based on fragments of what he thinks are NDN ceremonies. This is some pretty disturbing stuff.

Self-proclaimed "shaman" and "king", Raven Kaldera is back, of course. He now has his own thread here -  http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=3819.0

That's only some of it. There's more.  :o

Offline RedRightHand

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2012, 11:29:08 pm »
The vendors page - http://www.changingtimeschangingworlds.org/programming/vendors/

Includes a rather aggressive pretendian who ran a pretendian gathering of white people at which the only Native people, including Native Elders, were exploited and mistreated: http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=3705.0

Divine Creative Inspirations

"Handcrafted items, Divinely inspired. Many of our items represent Native American Spirituality. We create Hand Drums, Native American style Flutes, rattles, wood carvings, Medicine bags, featherwork, jewelry, and more. We enjoy creating what is inspired, and love to be inspired by your special requests. All of our handcrafted items are one of a kind, and any can be made to your specification. Artists include Lester Greenwood, Andrea Brenton, Michael Longrider, Jacki Joy.
http://divinecreativeinspirations.com/ "


Oh, that's where Andrea Brenton came from. I guess now we know who she's learning "The Red Road" from - white people.

Epiphany

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2012, 02:05:37 am »
I know "con" is short for "convention" but on their Frequently Asked Questions page the questions can be read another more accurate way:

What is this con?
Where is the con?
When is the con?
How big is the con?
How can I become part of the con?

http://www.changingtimeschangingworlds.org/welcome/frequently-asked-questions/

Offline Pono Aloha

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2012, 07:41:59 am »
The presenter who intrigues me is
Quote
Larry Obern aka Spawn the Supreme Being
;D

Offline Phillip63

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference, 2012
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 04:50:32 am »
Well!  How dare I! :D

Co-organizer Virginia Richards-Taylor upbraided me for calling attention to the "con" and its problematic pretendian presenters, over on Facebook.  When a person whom I respect posted about some horrid "Native" miniature statues being sold online and what could be done to lodge a complaint (completely unrelated to the "con"), I piped up with a remark about exploitative behavior closer to home.  Ukumbwa Sauti has been to the "con" before and seems to be educatable about the clusterbork of privilege that is going on.  I hope.

So Tchippakan shot back at me
Quote
No one has EVER made any money from this except the hotels we rent space from. Everyone from the speakers to the organizers put their own money in to share information with others. I'd appreciate it if you did a reality check before you tried to talk us down in public. Ukumbwa himself was an honored speaker the first two years, and we do hope to have him back again. We respect and support indigenous people and their spiritual practices. I'm afraid the Newagefraud group is not particularly careful about fact checking. Simply being white and spiritual seems to be enough to draw their ire.

So...uh...wow, y'all are sloppy fact-checkers. ::)  How dire!  I actually think you could give Sherlock Holmes a run for his money--seriously!  You are the most amazing detectives I've ever seen.  She would really rather we shut up and pay the $75 at the door like good little twits.

I was stunned too at the twisted thought process behind "simply being white and spiritual seems to draw their ire."  Um, pardon my language but what the hell?
I couldn't begin to address the folly of the Akichita Wakan claim--from what I can see even TRYING to read about the facts online is impossible.  It is just NOT a thing for non-Native people to muck with in any form.  Too bad OTHER people can't figure that out.



« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 05:37:18 am by Phillip63 »
"Acts of injustice done. Between the setting and the rising sun. In history lie like bones, each one."

Cheesy Little Life

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 09:57:10 am »
The presenter who intrigues me is
Quote
Larry Obern aka Spawn the Supreme Being
;D

gruesome
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 07:02:03 pm by Cheesy Little Life »

Offline RedRightHand

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference, 2012
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 06:31:34 pm »
  Ukumbwa Sauti has been to the "con" before and seems to be educatable about the clusterbork of privilege that is going on.  I hope.

In addition to participating in this con, Mr. Sauti has been heavily involved with fraud Diane Fisher AKA Dhyani Ywahoo's Black Indian Inn. Has he stopped being involved with the pretendians and ceremony-sellers there?

He gave a workshop at Fisher's place on Nov. 1: http://www.ukumbwa.com/Events.html

He is one of the people who is pushing for non-Natives to identify as Indigenous.

http://www.ukumbwa.com/ "Our indigenous soul calls us to acknowledge, validate, develop and empower our relationship to Spirit, that which we first and best know through nature.  It is that which animates, enlivens and enlightens All That Is." 

This is the group that made him an "Elder of the Dagara". I'm not sure how an American can be an elder of an African tribe they don't belong to, based on one African ex-pat who sells ceremony holding pay to pray retreats where he makes them "elders".

http://eastcoastvillage.org/main/  Attached is a photo from their website of the ceremony where "Indigenous African Elders" were made.

Offline educatedindian

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference, 2012
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 09:50:52 pm »

So Tchippakan shot back at me
Quote
No one has EVER made any money from this except the hotels we rent space from. Everyone from the speakers to the organizers put their own money in to share information with others. I'd appreciate it if you did a reality check before you tried to talk us down in public. Ukumbwa himself was an honored speaker the first two years, and we do hope to have him back again. We respect and support indigenous people and their spiritual practices. I'm afraid the Newagefraud group is not particularly careful about fact checking. Simply being white and spiritual seems to be enough to draw their ire.


It's pretty revealing; she introduces race and claims whites are the ones being persecuted by the mean dark skinned people. Seemingly she didn't know or care that this forum is a mix of people.

But it''s also pretty funny; she just said that none of their "indigenous" people actually are and unintentionally admitted they're all white pretenders!

I suppose she could have predicted all of this. After all, she is a supposed seer who can tell the future.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/eastkingdomsoothsayersguild/message/751

Her so called guild has an oath where they vow to uphold high ethical standards. Presumably that would be against lying about who you are.

If her bunch had any clue as to how actual elders conduct a gathering, she'd know to rely just on donations, even if it meant passing the hat or having a blanket dance. It'd mean the meeting gets held on someone's property, not a hotel. It'd mean more than likely the elders get hosted at people's homes, not hotels. That's how you truly do something not for profit, not charging a set fee no different than a get rich quick scheme seminar.

And she should already know this. After all, she was once elected to a co op board.
http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2209&dat=19870311&id=Rk9KAAAAIBAJ&sjid=zJMMAAAAIBAJ&pg=6931,4108549

Autumn

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 01:47:14 am »
Yikes!  Is that a stuffed (dead?) coyote on her back?  http://www.changingtimeschangingworlds.org/programming/presenters/

CoyoteSkyWoman (Deb Jarvis) is married to Robert Nolan  http://www.bluecoyoteproductions.com/About_Us.html

I try my best to be non-judgmental, but many of this group of presenters look very frightening and I wouldn't touch that conference with a ten foot pole.




Offline RedRightHand

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference, 2012
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 02:11:25 am »
I couldn't begin to address the folly of the Akichita Wakan claim--from what I can see even TRYING to read about the facts online is impossible.  It is just NOT a thing for non-Native people to muck with in any form. 

You are correct. That is not something that can be learned online or in books. People who really are part of those ways don't broadcast them or sell them. For non Lakota to be declaring themselves akicita, or wakan, let alone both, is the height of arrogance and appropriation. For a white guy to do this is racist. Really, really racist. Most Lakota would not be so arrogant to publicly advertise such titles for themselves, even (and perhaps especially) the traditionals who have actually earned these titles in a good way.

Through their actions, and their responses when called on it, these non Natives are showing they understand nothing about Native cultures. They live in a different world, and it's not a world where Native spiritualities can live (let alone be bought and sold). Perhaps they need some real akicita and Dagara to show up and tell them what they think about what they are doing.  Not to sell out and "instruct" them, but to do what akicita, real akicita, actually do.

Offline RedRightHand

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 02:37:42 am »
Andrea Brenton has some Facebook pages where she is posting her pretendian swill, interspersed with quotes taken from real NDNs, so the inexperienced white newagers she interacts with will be even more confused about what is real and what is newage awfulness.

http://www.facebook.com/WalksThroughSpirit

http://www.facebook.com/groups/takinguptheshawl/

Don't you just love how some white person becomes a pretendian, then a few months later sets themselves up as a teacher. Scary white people.

Offline Phillip63

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Re: Changing Times Changing Worlds Conference
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 10:40:27 am »
I had some respect for Malidoma Some´initially based on a slim volume he had published & I found in a university library, but when I look at this stuff and see how he's spun his enterprise into a three-ring circus--that's finished.  And yes, I knew that Ukumbwa was a student of Some´, but not in what capacity. :P

Wow.  I am totally stunned by what these people charge for their "services."

From what I've seen about Native gatherings they are really draining for all involved.  The effort is enormous precisely BECAUSE it's a homegrown affair.  This age of new-age sewage conferences and weekend seminars is just so trashy.  Yuck.

I've had some friends on Facebook ream me out for calling frauds on their stuff.  If they can't be bothered to come here and read, that's not my problem.

Oh, and finally, Sauti and Krasskova (whom I never did get around to discussing over on the Raven Kaldera conversation) made a blog on "Turtle Island." (more appropriating)

"The authors, Ukumbwa Sauti and Galina Krasskova are two people practicing their indigenous traditions and working to help others do the same.
Join us in honoring Turtle Island, and taking a stand for religious pluralism, freedom, spiritual integrity and most of all, for indigeny: the only way to a truly sustainable future."  http://ti42.weebly.com/blog.html   
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 10:58:35 am by Phillip63 »
"Acts of injustice done. Between the setting and the rising sun. In history lie like bones, each one."

Offline Phillip63

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Re: C T C W "Con"
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 09:46:57 pm »
Yet more from Facebook (I'd make a link but Facebook insists one has to have a membership even to look at public posts so screw that.

Jalkr TempleKeeper (my Facebook handle) 
Quote
Those presenting on "Native" topics such as Mr Windsinger have been approached before by Native people and asked to desist. *You* accused them of wanting to be isolationist (among other, less polite things) and there was a row. Native culture has been and continues to be denigrated, made into classroom how-to conference matter at New Age "cons", and used as a fulcrum for sales. Windsinger's curriculum vitae reads in part "Of mixed ancestry, he was surrounded by the oral traditions, ceremonies, and traditional skills of the Elders around him simply as day to day elements in his life." What Elders would those be, exactly? What tribe? I am an ally to Native people. I call attention to inappropriate behavior when I see it. "He will be offering CDs and DVDs on the author’s table and has made a limited number of Native American inspired jewelry of sacred stones and reproductions available." To offset the cost of the drive down and the hotel room, I assume? As for the NAFPS group, *their* motives are crystal clear. Your comment about "white and spiritual" shows your attitude. I am not Native and I've never been given a minute of grief. They appreciate honest allies. As for the lack of care in fact checking, I actually think their diligence in rooting out the tangled storylines too often used by New Age conference presenters is to be commended. You [Tchipakkan] already boasted about blocking activists from pointing out the concerns with other presenters, and now you'd rather nowhere public was used to discuss the "con." Just shut up and fork over the door fee. Well, I don't think so.


November 13 at 11:30pm
Ukumbwa Sauti M.Ed.
Quote
The fundamental issue here is around the concept of self-determination, how white privilege/european settler-colonialism/eurocentrism/racism has come to invade indigenous reality and (mis)appropriate culture and how this colonial mentality works to set up structures and practices that continue the attacks on and theft of indigenous culture and if and how it is spread/diffused by those people or by the sub-cultures of euro-privilege.

The newagefraud website above is a necessary and understandable response to colonialism and the effects of cultural (mis)appropriation and theft. So much serious and sensitive work must go into recreating or making use of cultural elements in the settler-colonial context if we are truly interested in being about the business of justice and liberation. The New Age is not in and of itself a great example of that struggle for liberation, having no substantive anti-colonial stance. In addition, as the creators of newagefraud suggest and say powerfully, those that espouse New Age behaviors and narratives seat themselves squarely within the colonial context and benefit from the worst of that anti-cultural tradition.

Any effort to create a growing context for the promotion of pagan and indigenous ideas and practices has to take these issues of anti-colonialism and of cultural (mis)appropriation into account and create a context that not only supports and acknowledges the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, but also the legacy of indigeny across the globe. How we all fit into this dynamic has to be up for consideration and discussion and deep spiritual reflection or we run the risk of perpetrating the worst that settler-colonialism and white/euro-privilege has set into motion.

Translation: I can see what the problem is, but I am going to avoid saying so and resort to mealy-mouthed bloviating rationalizations.

Not.impressed.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 11:39:36 pm by Phillip63 »
"Acts of injustice done. Between the setting and the rising sun. In history lie like bones, each one."