Author Topic: C Mikkal Smith aka Michael Smith - the Crow's Nest Center for Shamanic Studies  (Read 18785 times)

Offline nemesis

  • Posts: 526
I am concerned about and interested in this person

From his website
As I see it, there are two well known ways of entering the shaman’s path. Both passages involve the Call to a shamanic mode of being. One way is that it comes upon you unexpectedly; — it happens to you, and you have little choice in the matter. The other way is that there is a natural inward desire or questing for the way of the shaman. Either passage is equally good, and both ways call you to your true life. My way was the first.

hen I was 12 years old I was given my father’s study for a bedroom. This was a large private room with a large closeted library: Double windows framed the forest, which was only a few feet away, and I had a private bathroom. I was a creature of solitude loved to hide out in the book-room. I loved to sit at my window desk and gaze at the forest. Often I would climb out the bathroom window up onto the roof and watch the sunsets over the trees and in fall and winter, enjoy the silhouetted trees against magenta skies. I spent a lot of time playing and exploring the enormous woods. One day it finally occurred to me to bring trees inside my room. I gathered some rather large branches and erected them in the four corners of my room: I painted them with fluorescent colors so they would glow in the dark. It was a magical forest at night; a dream-space in which I would explore feelings and vast realms of imagination. Little mythologies would spring from these reveries, like ferns and grasses rising from the forest floor. Occasionally comets whizzed across the enchanting skies of my bedroom.

ne evening when I was about 18, I climbed on the roof to watch the sunset, as I had done many times. Then it happened. The golden light was bathing the thick forest foliage and above the tree tops; the evening mist was settling like smoke. From this mist, like the forming of a mirage, a clear vision of my future slowly came into ‘view’-I visually saw myself working in a forest somewhere in the world, healing people as I helped them reconnect with the divine Spirit. I knew then, that this was to be my life purpose. I call this my “first awakening,” but I completely misinterpreted it to mean: “I should become a Christian minister.” So as the years passed, I went to seminary, got ordained, and had a parish for three years. I enjoyed conducting worship services, especially during seasonal changes and holy days, and I really loved the counseling work. The parish rapidly grew as the pastoral care and counseling activities grew. One rather conservative elder complained to me privately that the church was becoming a polyclinic. Soon it was clear to me as well, that being a Christian minister was not the right vehicle for me spiritually or socially: I was more a spiritual healer than a pastor. So I resigned and took a job at a counseling center. This was a decisive act that changed my life, for I began counseling in a highly intuitive manner, trusting the divine Spirit to direct me. The results were amazing, but I was at a loss about why I knew how to do things that weren’t in the counseling textbooks. I didn’t know what I was doing or why it worked. It just did. Then a “second awakening” occurred. I was about 32.

For many years I had been noticing bird wings and feathers everywhere in the shadows of trees at night. I thought it was just natural and that everyone could see these majestic wings. I was startled when I realized this was not the case. Once I realized I was seeing in a visionary way and other people were not having the same experience, things got a lot more interesting. I began to really pay attention to what I was ‘seeing.’ I would sit outside at night and look at a particular tree. It would transform into a magical tree, with an enormous multicolored serpent spiraling in its branches. I could look at this tree anytime and within seconds see this serpent. Quickly this visionary activity increased. I was driving to work one day and the road broke open into an enormous abyss and my car plunged in. There were amazing beings in the depths: gods and spirits, faces and glowing masks. Over the abyss ascended a gigantic Thunderbird. I knew that I was driving the car and needed to pull out of this trance.

 few days later while working in my basement I felt a spontaneous, physical urge to dance. I started dancing and noticed the large Thunderbird was in the room with me. We merged, then separated. Then I attempted to merge again, but this time it was a different experience. It felt like a human spirit. It spoke inside me and told me he was my Cherokee great-grandfather, and that it was time to wake up and realize what I am, and do what I am here to do. At this point, I knew I needed assistance in making sense of these experiences, and in controlling them. I did not at all think I was crazy – perhaps I was – but I knew I needed some kind of teacher. I sensed that what I was experiencing was highly meaningful and had to do with my life’s work.

t was not easy finding a knowledgeable ritual elder to help me, 30 years ago. I knew what the psychiatrists would make of it. I eventually found a superb Jungian analyst, T. J. Kapacinsakas, and he told me that he was familiar with the phenomenon, and called it a ‘shamanic awakening.’ He told me I needed to connect with a shaman, and sent me packing to Northern Ontario for two weeks, where I got help and underwent a Vision Quest at Lake Temagami, in Ojibway Vision Quest territory near Bear Mountain. I found in Dave Knudsen, who conducted the Quest, the ritual elder that I needed for that time.

n this Quest I connected profoundly with many spirits of the forest, had numerous ‘visions’ but the main focus, the real vision was a simple stone, a blue brown rock sitting in front of me. I touched it, rubbed it many times. I dampened it with water using my hands, and it shimmered with silvery flecks. I was drawn to its solidity and simple earthly beauty. Then a silent voice arose within: “This is the core and essence of you and your life work: to live from this solid core, the heart, and to help others do the same.” I realized the stone was a symbolic talisman of what my life and work was to be.

 cried out to the Great Spirit and to the spirit-beings I felt close to me, and said “I have no teachers, no one to help me on this path.” The voice came back, “We will teach you.” And I replied, “But I will have to find some way to practice and make a living.” And then a silent voice arose saying to me that I not only could, but should go to the University of Chicago, study and create structures for me to work in, structures that would be helpful to others like myself as well, and they can help reawaken modern culture to a more heart-open and earth-honoring way of life.

o I wrote Mircea Eliade, the only figure I knew to be associated with shamanic study at Chicago. It was he who had reintroduced shamanism to the modern world nearly 60 years ago with his book SHAMANISM: ARCHAIC TECHNIQUES OF ECSTASY. I had good luck! Eliade wrote back, and advised me. I took several trips to his Hyde Park flat. He directed my readings, gave me a conceptual structure, and my first guidance on how to proceed. He invited me to come to Chicago and study. Eliade was in declining health at the time, suffered from arthritis terribly. Before I arrived to study with him academically at Chicago, his enormous personal library caught fire. It was a great loss for him, and the signal of the end of his life. He died a short time later. I was at a great loss of who to study with. I soon learned of the work of Robert L Moore, the Jungian analyst and collaborator Victor Turner on ritual structure and process. Dr. Moore, also deeply influenced by Eliade, did a book on the Initiation Archetype and the Ritual Elder. It was Moore who coined that term ‘ritual elder.’ So I ended up enrolling in the University of Chicago, the Chicago Theological Seminary, and the CG Jung Institute of Chicago all at once, and, with Dr. Moore’s encouragement, was able to design and coordinate my studies in Jung and shamanism, and eventually ethno-psychology and medical anthropology. It was a very rich diet of study. He would later ask me to write a book on the topic for his Paulist Press Series on Jung and Spirituality. That would become the JUNG AND SHAMANISM IN DIALOGUE book. Many psychotherapist-shamans, today, come to the work as psychologists or therapists, and then became shamans. For me it was the other way around: the whole point of my study was to find ways to fit myself into modern society and find ways to communicate the value of shamanism to the modern world.

obert L. Moore, was my first doctoral chair, and I learned so much about ritual leadership under his guidance. Soon I was focusing on a second doctorate when I enrolled in the class of the great medical anthropologist Sudhir Kakar at the University of Chicago. Kakar basically filled a gap, for me and others, left by Eliade, with his own more recent research. Kakar spent three years in the field with indigenous shamans, interviewing them, filming them, comparing ideas with modern healing systems and psychoanalysis. He published his findings in a well-known book: SHAMANS, MYSTICS AND DOCTORS, and in a variety of documentary films. He had developed the new field of cultural psychology, and mentored Erik Erikson at Harvard on the writing of GHANDI’ TRUTH. But in this class, filled to standing room only, we viewed the ethnographic films Kakar had made of shamans in Southeast Asia. We translated and analyzed the commonalities and differences ritual healing structure and process. Robert Moore had given me the ‘eyes’ to see things I otherwise would have missed in these shamans practicing their healing craft.

 was greatly inspired and encouraged by Dr. Kakar, finding through his work a way to bring greater public awareness and legitimacy to the healing power which shamanism could bring into modern western culture, overly rational and materialistic as it is. One day I mustered the courage Dr. Kakar if he would serve as a reader on my dissertation committee, and he generously accepted. But during the course of this conversation I told him about my own shamanic experience and work. He became fascinated and wanted to know the details of my story. The next thing I knew, I was the subject matter of a couple of classes. The course was entitled “Healing Systems Across Cultures.” Kakar looked at me as a field specimen from North America, giving the anthropology, divinity and behavioral science students and professors a chance to study me as a living human document. It was weird, but also exhilarating, for suddenly I found my rather odd way of life and work being the subject of formal interest. Strangest of all, several other students came out of the closet about their own shamanic experiences. We formed a little consortium, meeting once a week to share ideas and learn from each other. It felt wonderful to have peers, and I quickly learned how important and supportive it is for shamans (beginners or fully fledged) to have a community. One of the great friendships that formed during all this was with Dr. David Dalrymple, a Jungian analyst interested in shamanism and archetypal psychology, and who was working on his second doctorate and was my class mate. He drew my attention to some shamanic initiatory themes that he observed in his analytical patients.

y the end of my Chicago studies I had written two books, PSYCHOTHERAPY AND THE SACRED, and JUNG AND SHAMANISM IN DIALOGUE. These two books succeeded in helping me develop a solid and ethical structure for integrating shamanism and psychotherapy in a modern context, and in time they came to help others do the same. Partly due to Kakar’s dust-jacket endorsement of my book, and partly because of my friend David Dalrymple, now the vice president of the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis [NAAP], a certifying body for Freudian, Adleraian, and Jungian psychoanalysts, my book was submitted to the Gradiva Awards committee for peer review. As a result, in 1996 PSYCHOTHERAPY AND THE SACRED won a Gradiva Award nomination for its contribution to psychoanalysis and spirituality, at New York University. I will always be grateful to my friend David Dalrymple… He helped me get it into the culture, one of my big reasons for going to Chicago. David introduced me to, and seated me besides James Hillman and Robert Bly, at the dinner table of the Gradiva Awards, at New York University. The sharing of ideas between us was an event I shall not forget. Hillman, known for his archetypal soul psychology, received a Gradiva for his docu-film on depression called “Something Blue” Bly received a Gradiva for his contribution to psychoanalysis through poetry. It was Bly who spawned the “men’s movement” with his pioneering book, IRON JOHN, but his poetry touched the inscapes of grief and raised ecological and earth-honoring awareness.

y second book, JUNG AND SHAMANISM IN DIALOGUE is in its second printing and is used as a text in Jungian Institutes and many psychology programs in the USA and Europe. These books, as well as my entire Chicago education, were inspired and to some degree directed by my own ‘spirit guides’ who helped me see things, and write things that created the conceptual structures and legitimation structures in which I could work. All this, including the Gradiva was a kind of rite of passage for me, one which convinced me that I could, and that anyone could, create and make real changes in the world.

uring and after Chicago I was building a large private counseling center in SW Michigan, and working with two of my shamanic mentors. Ai Gvhdi Waya, was my Cherokee-metis teacher, and don Alverto Taxo, my Ecuadoran Kichwa teacher. I did not seek out Waya. She was a Cherokee-metis shaman coming from a long line of healers through her father’s wolf clan. She had read something I wrote, saw that I was dealing with Jung and shamanism, and thought I could benefit from an initiation with her, and two other Jungians. In the early nineties I traveled to Arizona and spent a week in Ai Gvhdi Waya’s Casa del Tierra Madre, near Sedona. We were initiated into soul recovery and extraction work, feather and crystal diagnosis and healing. We spent a very intense week in her desert Hogan, and there after Waya and I have continued our relationship. She was taught me much and continues to support the work I am doing. She helped me come to terms with my Cherokee-metis ancestry, my Celt ancestry, and the acceptance of all that I am, including my particular writers voice, a blend of the scholarly and personal.

ast year Waya’s mother, Ruth, died after a long illness, and her prayer pipe was passed onto me, under the condition that I could dream and find its name, gender, guardian, and kind. I went to the Casa to help initiate another shaman. I received the pipe at this time, with the instruction to put it under my head, but under the bed, and ask for the dream answer to these questions in my dreams. I woke up many times during the night to write down dream fragments and would go back to sleep asking for more dreams. It took 10 dreams and two nights. On the third morning, I had it all. It was an amazing process.
Overlapping these 12 years I worked concurrently with don Alverto Taxo, who was teaching me to work with the elements and “fly with the Condor” which meant learning very exact ways to listen to, follow, and honor the heart. It also meant learning to transform the mind and bring it into proper relationship to the heart, as its servant. One of the most valuable things I learned from his was how to connect directly to the “Great Force of Life” (Jatun) by opening my heart and greeting any element, or plant, or person, or anything at all. “Tu Kuy Shunguwan Kuyanimi” are the Quechua words of a central chant used in virtually every ritual and ceremony, and it means “With everything in my heart, I greet you!”

y work with don Alverto focused on connecting with the ‘usai’ (essence or spirit) in plants. Everything has an ushai, but for me the practice of greeting the plant spirits, entering into them, led me to become more present, more soul-full. I saw that this was a natural method of soul retrieval. Many of the Kichwa Iachak’s limpias (cleansings) are done with flowers, their ushais brushing you, clearing out engative energy forms, but also making you present, bringing you into the now. Through don Alverto’s teaching I learned how to do soul retrievals simply by connecting with the heart and helping my clients do so in therapy. I have found that all but the most stubborn or trauma-based soul parts will come on line naturally, if the client is properly connected to the heart, knows precisely how to listen, honor, and properly protect it. These discoveries led me to develop powerful and simple techniques, which I integrated with psychotherapy outcome research (Gendlin, Rogers, Nelson and others), to help any individual rapidly find, access, and get guidance from the heart, from its navigational system. I have come to call this the NGS.

hese teachings become client skills and are very useful in pre- and post-soul retrieval and integration work. Over many years I have also worked with many indigenous healers in the Americas, took a journey into Mexico to study ‘plantas y medicinales’ and curanderismo wisdom. But Ai Gvhdi Waya and don Alverto Taxo, these are my great teachers. While all this apprenticeship was going on, I continued to work with clients, and I began doing longer, frequent, and more intense vision quests for myself, and running them for others as well. On one such Quest I was sitting beside the water at night when the marvelous Thunderbird arose and hovered over it. I looked eye to eye at its fierceness. And then it began stripping me of my flesh-layer by layer. It ripped the skin off my body, took my eyes out of their sockets, yet I could still see. It said to me “See, you don’t need these to see.” It continued taking out muscles and then viscera, finally my brain and spinal cord slithering out…and with each part removed it would say “ See you are not this either.” Finally there was nothing but my bones, and then they were disconnected and began dancing and clicking to a beautiful rhythm in the darkness. I became aware that there was nothing left to identify as me….I was no-thing, and yet “I Am.” Then the Thunder-being said to me, “This is your stone core nature…this is the heart. This is your central axis, live from here!” Then all my bones were reassembled, my organs and flesh all cleaned and put back on. I felt entirely renewed and invigorated physically and spiritually after this experience. I felt saturated with presence, and my heart had blown wide-open. Everything seemed more spacious and beautiful. Inwardly I knew I had found my axis mundi, and was rooted in the “absolutely real, enduring, and effective reality,” as Eliade described the sacred.

his event, probably the most profound in my life, showed me who I am. Eliade called this kind of shamanic initiatory experience a “reduction to a skeleton.” I was familiar with it, but I had not at all understood its significance until I underwent the experience of it, direct and unexpected. Later I came to see how similar it is to other contemplative traditions, of Advatia Vedanta’s ‘Direct Inquiry’, Tibetan Buddhist Chod meditations, and the archetypes of death/rebirth and the Self, which Jung pointed to and demonstrated in alchemical process. Everything changed as a result of visionary death/rebirth experience. I shared the experience with a friend of mine at Cambridge, an anthropologist, but also a practicing shaman. She said, “You better run for cover.” It was not long before I understood her meaning. Because of this new and solid connection to my ontological core of being, I now stood in my own truth and would not tolerate anything that was false or a deception in my life. Everything that wasn’t right, that wasn’t authentic began to fall away…my business fell apart, and so did my marriage, and any relationship that had an inauthentic basis was either transformed or it died. I lost everything, my home, my money, for a while my family. But it was ok. I had a deep sense that I was in my center and that my life had to realign so that inwardly and outwardly my life was ‘one.” It was a process that took several years.

he basis of my shamanic life, practice, and work is rooted in these experiences. The heart-centered shamanism is an expression of the Great Spirit and the spirit-helpers speaking through the heart, the absolute core of your being, the axis mundi, as Eliade named it, of a life. The basic ground of the shamanic counseling and healing, and the energy medicine I teach (soul recover and extraction), of the sacred rites and earth ceremonies, of the chants and the wounded healer training for apprentices, all is rooted in the connection to the sacred, through the heart, and the transformation of the mind and its belief systems into a servant of the heart.


the web page includes and "interesting" photo of Mr Smith - I cannot post it here as my proxy will not let me

Hi FB page is here

He is friends with a number of people who are deeply involved in THB recruitment, however as he has many mutual friends with the recruiters it may simply be that he ticked the "accept friend request" box without bothering to find out who the "friends" are.  For the avoidance of doubt, I am NOT claiming that he is involved in THB, but I am concerned that, at best, he has been careless about who he "friends" on FB and has, thus, left his genuine friends and naive "fans"at risk of their FB accounts being compromised by dubious and criminal individuals.

He also has friends involved in conventional psychotherapy and this is one of the reasons that this man interests me - he represents a synthesis of conventional (well OK Jungian so on the outer edges of conventional) psychotherapy and faux shamanism.

I am also concerned about his promotion and use of the "sacred breathwork" (aka Holotropic breathwork) methods developed by the extremely controversial psychiatrist Stanislav Grof.  This kind of breathwork (hyperventilating for long periods) has been discredited.

I C&Pd this from Wikipedia on Holotropic Breathwork - couldn't find the source articles
In 1993 the Scottish Charities Office commissioned a report into the technique, having received complaints concerning its implementation at the Findhorn Foundation, a registered charity. The report was written by Anthony Busuttil (Regius Professor of Forensic Medicine at the University of Edinburgh), whose opinions caused the Findhorn Foundation to suspend its breathwork programme. In its report on the event, The Scotsman also published several critical comments concerning Holotropic Breathwork as a form of therapy, made by Dr Linda Watt of Leverndale Psychiatric Hospital in Glasgow. In response to literature about breathwork supplied by the newspaper, Dr Watt expressed professional concerns that the hyperventilation technique might cause seizure or lead to psychosis in vulnerable people. (The Scotsman, 14 October 1993).

There are some interesting critiques of Grof's therapies here

I have also noticed that Grof's breathwork has also been embraced with enthusiasm by "therapists"  who are also recruiters for THB networks.  I suspect that this is partly because it can leave people in an extremely vulnerable and compliant state of mind. 

I would value the opinions of others re this Mr Smith, and Dr Grof for that matter.

Unfortunately there is a lot of it about and Smith is not the only "shamanic" psychotherapist out there, however he does seem to be one of the earliest and most influential.

If nobody minds I think it might be time for a very long thread on dubious / newage psychotherapists, in fact I think it is long overdue
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 05:24:46 pm by nemesis »

Offline educatedindian

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4739
I'm surprised he hasn't come up before. We've had other threads on psychologissts and psychiatrists turned spiritual exploiters. If he were just a researcher looking for a way to integrate Native healing into psych practices that'd be one thing. But this guy hasn't been that for a long time. He's a ceremony selller, operating mostly in France and Belgium.

And he does knockoffs of vision quests, makes vague claims about healing unnamed ailments and conditions, and mostly claims people can experience his imitation of NDN beliefs. The dressing up in unspecified generic NDN regalia in that photo is never explained. Mostly he falls under the core shamanism people, except for the ceremony selling.

Offline Ingeborg

  • Friends
  • *
  • Posts: 835
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Smith has got an article at wikipedia:

The article was initiated and is being maintained mainly by one user going by the nick of Mowolverton. The Smith article apparently is the only article Mowolverton contributed to:

He put up part of an earlier version of his article at his user page. The biographic details here are interesting, as there are several claims which were omited in later versions:

He is fully initiated into three indigenous healing traditions of the Americas: South (Quechua Iachak), Central (Toltec) and North (Cherokee). Mikkal is a Cherokee-metis healer and elder and has been in the private practice of Jungian psychology and shamanic healing for more than thirty years.

So this reeks badly of the usual Nuage BS of being 'initated' – fully, of course – to several indigenous traditions and, of course, added by a claim of being ndn.
Mowolverton started the article on Feb 23, 2011, including the claim of Smith being a "Cherokee-metis healer". He returned Feb 25, 2011 and effected more than 50 changes to the article that day - one of the first changes was to remove the above quoted paragraph....

Although this claim is not made on Smith's English websites, it appears on his facebook site – in French language:
Crows Nest Center for Shamanic Studies (Belgium) March 24-27 workshops

Le réveil du chaman - le chemin rouge - chamanisme traditionnel avec MIKKAL en BELGIQUE du 24 au 27.
FORMATION DE CONSULTANT CHAMANIQUEen BelgiqueLa Voie Rouge(formation certifiante de Crows Nest Europe)Avec MikkalC. Michael Smith,MIKKAL, est un guérisseur chamanique d'origine Cherokee, psychologue ...

Translation (emphasis added): The Awakening of the Shaman – the Red Path – Traditional shamanism with Mikkal in Belgium from 24-27
Training for shamanic coucilor in Belgium, La Voie Rouge … with Mikkal C. Michael Smith, MIKKAL is a shamanic healer of Cherokee origin, a psychologist...

There are further sites in French language on which Smith passes himself off as Cherokee or of Cherokee descent, e.g.:

C. Michael Smith, mikkal, est un guérisseur chamanique, psychologue Jungien et anthropologue médical aux usa. Il a été initié par trois lignées chamaniques. Quechua Iachak, Mexicain Toltèque, ainsi que de ses propres maîtres Cherokee.
Cette technique active d’une révélation directe est une cérémonie d’origine très ancienne et Mikkal en enseigne une forme dérivée découlant de son liniage Cherokee.
Emphasis added

So while Smith and his supporters seem to be careful not to step into nasty substances re his alleged descendence on English language sites, he apparently does not go out of the way to - errm: correct misunderstandings occuring with European students.

But perhaps there is another reason for Smith being careful about his claims in English languages - I also found this entry:

C. Michael Smith:

I am a native of Oklahoma, a Cherokee Indian Nation citizen, ...

Not a psychologist, but an entomologist.

On one of his websites, Smith links to the site of his alleged Cherokee teacher, Ai Gvhdi Waya:

art. This is the website of Ai Gvhdi Waya, my Cherokee-metis teacher who initiated myself and anumber of Jungian analysts into her lineage of healing, soul recorvery and extraction, at large. I am on the Faculty of her medicine garden Webpage, a rich resource on shamanic, medical anthropological, homeopathic and many other forms of healing.

When you open that site, the shop section informs you that the site belongs to an Eileen Nauman, DHM (UK) who also goes by the name of Ai Gvhdi Waya ( ) and whose „About “ section clearly says she is a homeopath:
As a professional homeopath, I saw that remedies created from Nature could heal people. Because of my own Native American Metis background and growing up close to Mother Earth, I was taught from the time I could remember that plants can heal us.

As an aside, the lady is also grossly misrepresenting homeopathy as using herbal therapies which is far from the truth.
Nauman's site also offers „Free astrology forecasts for 2011“ ( ). Neither homeopathy nor astrology is anywhere near Cherokee traditions – although apparently Nauman thinks differently:

I’m proud of all my shamanic facilitators that I’ve trained over the last two decades. My Eastern Cherokee name is Ai Gvhdi Waya and I am a family lineage shaman. The ‘medine’ passed on to me by my father, is what I teach today. One of my students, Michael Smith, is a Jungian Analyst, is now moving to a global level to “spread the word” of why Shamanism is so important to us as we enter the gauntlet of massive world change. Here is the newspaper account and below that is a wonderful 48 minute talk on Shamanism you can share with anyone.
Emphasis added

This lady from France claims she was trained as a shamanic counselor by Smith:

She mixes ndn and Asian, and further down on her bio page, she mentions she also was trained by Roy Little Sun. She is „the guardian of a sacred drum“ and participates in events of the 13 Grandmothers. Not to forget the crystal skulls. And she is a supporter of Masaru Emoto who has got an entry in the wiki of our friends at EW.

 Water Shaman and Water-Diviner
   Therapist and shamanic counseler
 Collaborator of Dr Masaru Emoto in Europa, for the "Emoto Peace Project"
 Collaborator and apprentice of Mikkal, C. Michael Smith, for "Crows Nest Europe"

Another student of Smith's, from Switzerland:

Après de nombreuses années de recherche de qui je suis, de formations comme le Reiki, l’accompagnement en analyse transactionnelle, puis la pratique du chamanisme depuis 4 ans, incluant la voie toltèque, la voie cherokee, formée en partie au « Crows Nest Center for Shamanic Studies » de C. Michael Smith alias Mikkal dans le Michigan – USA et ensuite dans ses stages ici en Europe, j’ai obtenu un certificat de conseillère chamanique qui me permet de proposer des soins comme :
• Soins énergétiques
• Reiki avec extraction chamanique
• Psychologie du cœur :
• Récapitulation toltèque
• Psychanalyse chamanique
• Accompagnement dans la quête de qui vous êtes vraiment

« Last Edit: December 10, 2011, 05:42:31 pm by Ingeborg »


  • Guest
Okay, okay, I didn't read his entire history (it was a little too tedious for me), but I did find similarities to Little Grandmother's "Shamanic Journey," so who came first and stole from the other's history? 

It is amazing to me how so much crap can be "doctored up" with a lot of educational know-how, when things of the spirit should just simply be known, and can you really teach that to others?

Offline nemesis

  • Posts: 526
Thanks for the replies everyone

Excellent work!

There is a thread with a lot of information about the the fraud "Ai Gvhdi Waya" aka Eileen Naumann aka Lindsay McKenna here:

from the thread:
This is Eileen Naumann who she says trained her.
Eileen Nauman has been a homeopath for over 30 years. She is of Eastern Cherokee American Indian descent and is a Shaman.
As Eileen herself says "My Native American metaphysical and medical herb heredity and experiences have made me a homeopath of a different colour. Let me show you how I see the world and then judge for yourself how useful it is."

But her real name is different. Check out what she writes on. Notice same photo.
About Lindsay McKenna
"Top Gun of Women's Military Fiction" 
Lindsay McKenna (A.K.A. Eileen Nauman) is the best-selling author of Valkyrie and 75 fiction books in the last 20 years. Known as the "Top Gun of Women's Military Fiction," she created the sub-genre of military adventure/romance and covers a mainstream women's market having sold over 10 million books worldwide. 
Released December 1, 2000, and already movie optioned, Valkyrie -- a suspense novel, intertwining action, adventure, politics, and a love story -- is available as an e-book or paperback version. Romantic Times has awarded Valkyrie Best Electronic Book for 2000.
Her recent book, Morgan's Mercenaries: Heart of the Warrior, placed #103 on the USA Today book list and #2 on the Waldenbooks bestseller's list in August 2000.
Just released in November 2001, Silhouette's 2001 Christmas Anthology "Midnight Clear" features Debbie Macomber, Lindsay McKenna, and Stella Bagwell in a strong collection of novelettes that has drawn 4 1/2 stars from Romantic Times, and in only one week, reached #33 on the New York Times Extended list, and #77 on USA Today. 
McKenna has two additional books optioned for movies: "Beginnings", a Coast Guard search and rescue adventure, and "Code of Silence", the yet-to-be-released (December 2003) military mystery which is centered around the Tailhook 2 scandal. 
Winner of numerous awards, McKenna takes the writing and media world by storm with each new release."

Most of the time she doesn't mention her claim to be Cheroke unless she's selling herself as a shaman.
Eileen Nauman, DHM (UK), has been a practicing classically trained homeopath since 1970. She has studied at the National Center for Homeopathy, 1985-1989 and with the British Institute of Homeopathy (in residences/correspondence) 1991-1993, England. In the 1990's she was a faculty member at the British Institute, and adjunct faculty at the Desert Institute of Classical Homeopathy, Phoenix, Arizona, for two years. In additions, she was an adjunct professor at The Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1993. She writes, lectures and gives workshops on homeopathy, as well as natural flower essences, soul recovery and extraction, and medical astrology.
In 1996, she completed her EMT-B course in Arizona. Having run a free homeopathic clinic for 2 1/2 years on the Navajo Reservation, Eileen is used to dealing with many types of emergency situations, from deadly epidemics to house-hold emergencies that can also be life-threatening. Her three years on the West Point Volunteer Fire Department, Ohio, from 1981-1984, honed her abilities to use homeopathic remedies in life-death situations.
Eileen owns Blue Turtle Publishing Company. As a professional writer, she has over ninety books (fiction and nonfiction) published since 1980. Among them, Homeopathy and Epidemics, a homeopathic book to address the SARS threat as well as a flu pandemic.
Her other love, Natural Essences, is a part of her company. She has nearly one-hundred gem and flower/tree/bush essences and conducts provings on them with volunteer provers from around the world. Her essences are the only ones to be proven in this manner, rather than just intuiting what an essence might be used for. Recently, she just published proving information on Crested Prickle Poppy, a Southwest desert wildflower.
Another part of Eileen's world is as an international author of romance, mass market and historicals that have been written for Harlequin, Silhouette Books, Avon, Berkely and Warner over the years. She's written over 90 fiction books. She divides her love between writing romances, being a homeopathic practitioner, and publisher of a small press on alternative health books."

Here she's become "Eastern Cherokee Metis".
Welcome to my unusual world! Eastern Cherokee metis, my perspective on Life is pretty different from most people. If you love Nature, Mother Earth, paranormal happenings, synchronicities between human and "all our relations," please stick around...the tales just occur out of my daily life...enjoy! Warmly, Eileen/Lindsay McKenna/Ai Gvhdi Waya"

Finally a bit more about her.
"Eileen Nauman, DHM (UK), is a faculty member of the British Institute of Homeopathy. She has been practicing classical homeopathy for 26 years on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, USA. In the computer world of America Online, Eileen is a provider and member of ASTRONET, and the department head of the medical astrology portion. As an adjunct professor at The Union Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA, she works in core committees with post graduate students who aspire toward a Ph.D. in holistic and alternative medicine.
Eileen is the author of over 50 books and global lecturer, not only on medical astrology, homeopathy, and natural essences, but also in the areas of fiction and non-fiction writing and Native American ceremonies. She is owner of the Blue Turtle Publishing Company and has created the Blue Turtle Natural Essences in the tradition of Bach flower remedies. These are sold around the world as an adjunct to homeopathic treatment.
>>>>Raised in the Eastern Cherokee environment, Eileen is a trained shaman in the tradition of her family's roots via her great-grandmother, who was a member of the Wolf Clan.
Eileen combines her knowledge in all these spheres and works with clients from around the world who are seeking answers to mis-diagnosed or not diagnosable illnesses. Miranda Castro, FSHom, is a fellow of The Society of Homeopaths (UK) and has been practicing classical homeopathy for14 years. She has a background in acupuncture and psychotherapy and is the author of The Complete Homeopathy Handbook; Homeopathy for Pregnancy, Birth and Your Baby's First Year; and the soon to be published Homeopathic Solutions for Emotional and Physical Stress. Currently she is on the faculty of Bastyr Univeristy in Seattly, Washington, USA, where she is developing a post graduate program in homeopathy."

so with all the information we have here it looks fairly certain that one of Mikkal Smith's main teachers ans "initiators" is a fraud.  No big surprises there then.

Smith claims that a Jungian analyst told him that he was having a "shamanic awakening" and that
I needed to connect with a shaman, and sent me packing to Northern Ontario for two weeks, where I got help and underwent a Vision Quest at Lake Temagami, in Ojibway Vision Quest territory near Bear Mountain. I found in Dave Knudsen, who conducted the Quest, the ritual elder that I needed for that time.

This got me curious about who this "elder" Dave Knudsen was.  Turns out it was this man

David Knudsen, Owner/Director
At the age of sixteen David worked on a Danish freighter bound for Argentina and two years later worked as a cowhand in southwestern Colorado. He founded Langskib in 1971. He was a science teacher for six years and directed an Alternative school for ten years. He taught, wrote curriculum, counseled and three times won an Outstanding Educator of America Award. David is the co-director of “The Temagami Experience” and Adult Leadership Program and also the co-director of “The Temagami Vision Quest,” a training endorsed by the C.G. Jung Center of Chicago. He has led hundreds of workshops, trained with numerous Native elders and in 2000 he was the executive producer of a film documenting adolescent rites of passage. He has canoed many thousands of miles including five major expeditions to the Hudson Bay. His expertise is in helping young people cross the bridge to adulthood. When not working you can find him on the other end of fly rod.

more on Knudsen here: (emphasis mine)
Langskib wilderness canoe camp for boys was founded in 1971 not only to provide young men with a set of tools that would help them on life's journey, but also to create a mythological experience in a magical wilderness setting. The island base camp was purchased by David Knudsen from Oliver Quickmire on a handshake as they sat on the cliff at Langskib overlooking Sharp Rock Inlet. Business in the North country was a lot simpler back then.

The canoe camp's first five years were full of excitement, hard work and the realization that there was much to learn. The canoeing trips that left the dock generally traveled only in the Temagami area, but there was always the dream of one day sending an expedition to the Hudson Bay. About five years into the program David had the privilege to meet with a number of Native elders, including Black Elk and thus began the slow process of understanding the importance of our relationship with the land.


so, er, Smith's "ritual elder" is a former cowhand and school teacher who "trained with numerous native elders" (conveniently not named),  who owns a significant chunk of wilderness real estate and and who runs "vision quests" that are endorsed by those well respected native elders "the C.G. Jung Center of Chicago"   ???

Knusden says that he once met with "a number of Native elders, including Black Elk" (again no mention of who they were or the nature of the meeting) and that "thus began the slow process of understanding the importance of our relationship with the land." Does he mean that he started to understand that the land he bought with a handshake was not actually his but in fact belonged to these unnamed native elders? 

Offline educatedindian

  • Administrator
  • *****
  • Posts: 4739

so with all the information we have here it looks fairly certain that one of Mikkal Smith's main teachers ans "initiators" is a fraud.  No big surprises there then.

You're being too generous. Every single claim of Smith's is pretty dubious. There's your own research, and Ingeborg's.

And keep in mind his claim:

"He is fully initiated into three indigenous healing traditions of the Americas: South (Quechua Iachak), Central (Toltec) and North (Cherokee). Mikkal is a Cherokee-metis."

He's yet one more fraud incorrectly claiming to be Metis. His Cherokee initiations claim isn't true. His "Toltec" claim isn't true. The Toltecs have been gone over 1000 years and the ones claiming to be Toltec are frauds in the Castaneda mold.

"Quechua Iachak" shows up online mostly in articles about Smith. Iachak is claimed to be the word for wise man among Quechua of Ecuador. The one who most commonly claims that online is Don Alberto Taxo, who says he was given responsibility for spreading Quechua traditions to North America and Europe. ::)
In other places he claims to be a curandero rather than a Quechua elder. Once can also find his business profile on pipil.

Smith is a ceremony seller relying on dubious claims. Pretty clear cut. Moved to Frauds.

Offline nemesis

  • Posts: 526
Thanks Al

It is a relief to see this guy in the Frauds section simply because his fraudulent activities are causing a lot of damage to vulnerable people as increasing numbers of Jungian psychotherapists and other new age psychotherapists adopt and endorse his theories and practices.

Smith is not the only bad influence, not by a long shot, but his name does keep on popping up as an associate of other dubious therapists and I think it is helpful to a least to start to try to limit the damage with this thread. 

Offline Ohm909

  • Posts: 1

But perhaps there is another reason for Smith being careful about his claims in English languages - I also found this entry:

C. Michael Smith:

I am a native of Oklahoma, a Cherokee Indian Nation citizen, ...

Not a psychologist, but an entomologist.

Cool site, but this doesnt look like same guy, the pictures are different, and the research seems to be not all that accurate?  How are we able to claim any fraudulent activities?

Offline nemesis

  • Posts: 526
I think you are right and the man in the link is definitely not the same C Mikkal / Michael (he goes by both names) Smith.

Thanks for pointing that out Ohm909 and welcome to the boards.

I don't think it changes anything to do with Mikkal Smith's fraud status, but we should make it clear that the entomologist C Michael Smith is a perfectly respectable man unrelated to C Mikkal Smith in any way.   

Offline Ingeborg

  • Friends
  • *
  • Posts: 835
  • I love YaBB 1G - SP1!
Cool site, but this doesnt look like same guy, the pictures are different, and the research seems to be not all that accurate?

It is in fact very apparent that the entomologist C. Michael Smith is not the same person as the alleged shaman C. „Mikkal“ Smith.

I also never said they were identical.
The first names Charles and Michael are quite common, and persons going by the name of Smith must be legion. This is a mere coincidence of two persons sharing both their first and family names.

As far as my research went, the entomologist C. Michael Smith is an absolutely honourable academic and reputable scientist as well as an enrolled member of the Cherokee nation, and the bio linked above is taken from an official site maintained by the university employing him.

What is noteworthy is that the fake „Mikkal“ takes great pains to avoid mentioning the claim of being a member of the Cherokee nation on all English languages sites giving biographical information on him, including the English wikipedia – while, at the same time, the claim of his being Cherokee, or being 'iniated' by three entire lineages of 'shamans', appear on numerous sites in other languages. One may therefore assume that the fake „Mikkal“ does not want to run into problems with the real Cherokee-enrolled C. M. Smith.

How are we able to claim any fraudulent activities?

Whom does this 'we' refer to, if I may ask?