Author Topic: Kevin Dubrow, Nancy Heraty AKA Kevin Redbear, Desert Lizard White Owl Crone Woma  (Read 19190 times)

Offline educatedindian

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Got a request about him. Ceremony sellers in Sedona, hodgepodge of faux NDN, yoga, claims about psychology, Taoism, alchemy.

...Red Bear, Shaman
My Path to Shamanic Practice
•Group Facilitatior * Group Trainer
•Studies, Experiences, Practice in the Jungian Wisdom...
•Studies, Experiences, Practice and Guiding Rites-of-Passage VisionQuests, Shamanic VisionQuests, and Shamanic Retreats
Beginning in 1970, integration of my whole journey and entire life into Shamanic Practice

     In 1970, I began on a path that now in 2006 has led to becoming a Shaman. In 1970, I started out as an accounting major at Bernard M, Baruch College of Business Administration of the City University of New York. From 1970-1976, I apprenticed to Morton Mintz who began my shamanic path. I first became a group facilitator and trainer in sensitivity training-encounter groups. I intensely experienced and studied small group processes and dynamics. The next path was to experience and study the wisdom of Carl Gustav Jung. My working and learning of the magic of groups and the mystery of Jungian wisdom continues in this present moment,

     Morty guided me to go to graduate social work school. In 1976, I received my masters in social work in individual, family and group treatment from the Social Service Administration of the University of Chicago. I returned to the University of Chicago from 1980-1983 and completed course work and qualifying exams for a Ph.D. in social work. Intensive therapy with Florence Anderson, who became my mentor, greatly advanced my journey. Studies and work with Peter Homans, Professor of Divinity at the University of Chicago, in Jungian wisdom was another vital step. Mentorship with Father Davis Barker, a Jungian scholar and therapist, and Billie Head, Jungian counselor and educator....

     In 1998, I guided my first VisionQuest in Warrenville, Illinois for older adolescents. This was the beginning of returning to shamanic studies and practice which began in 1970. I had experienced many quests, retreats and programs by shaman, but wasn’t ready to return to the shamanic path myself. In 1999-2000, I guided two VisionQuests for older adolescents and two VisionQuests for adults. These were initiation, rite-of-passage quests and they were truly amazing.

     In 2000-2001, I went through great personal trauma that I called my “11 Months in Hell”. For 11 months, after a great personal loss, I seemed to be falling into a bottomless pit of despair, suffering and death. It was these 11 months of dying that led to my rebirth and to embracing the path of the shaman. If it wasn’t for this life threatening “11 months in Hell”, there would have been no path for my becoming a shaman.

...In 2001, I guided my first retreat in Sedona, Arizona that continued the painful, wondrous, delightful, humbling and luminous to shamanic pratice. Truly, the first Sedona VisionQuest lit the fires to my Shamanic Fire.VisionQuests continued in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 in Sedona and so did retreats in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. I have also guided three retreats at Devil’s Lake/Spirit Lake, Wisconsin...

I dedicate all my work as a shaman to Morton Mintz who was a great shaman and, without him, there would be no path for me. Meegwetch Mort

In 1998, Red Bear (Kevin Dubrow LCSW) led his first VisionQuest for adolescents in Illinois. With the amazing experience this was for all questors. VisionQuests have been conducted in Sedona, Arizona each May in 2002-20011. There have also been VisionQuests held in Devil's Lake, Wisconsin.

Red Bears Soul Mate, Desert Lizard White Owl Crone Women (Nancy Heraty) co-guides the quests. Desert Lizard is a Yoga Teacher and instructor, a ceramic artist and a ceramic art teacher. All VisionQuests include Hatha Yoga led by Desert Lizard.

Rites-of-Passage VisionQuests guide boys to become Men and girls to become Women. For the Rite-of-Passage VisionQuests, Red Bear and Desert Lizard call on the assistance of other guides including Loving Flowing Dolphin (Daryl Mortensen, a high school chemistry and physics teacher) and Sitting Wolf with Bright Vulture (Tom Undine MSW, social worker).
Rites of Passage VisionQuests can be three days or four days.

Shamanic VisionQuests guide questors to be carried to, taken to and gifted with Vision. Red Bear and Desert Lizard guide these four day VisionQuests; other guides are utilized as needed.

Rites of Passage VisionQuests can be set up for your school, college, organization, agency or group. The Rites of Passage VisionQuests guiding boys to being Men (Men Warriors and Loversto Self and Soul) and girls to being Women (Women Warriors and Self and Soul) Can be set up for teenagers or for young adults or for adults or for a mix of ages.

Shamanic VisionQuests can also be set up for your school, college, organization, agency or group...

Understanding and Utilizing an Innovative Jungian Approach to Counseling, Therapy and Mentorship
• Many workshops, training programs and seminars inspired by and drawing on the Wisdom on Carl Gustav Jung and master Jungians are for those in the helping professions

THE TAO-ZEN CIRCLE: The Wisdom of Tao-Zen Comes Alive


A Tao-Zen Approach to Working with Depression, Despair, Anger, Abuse and Rage
• Workshops on Tao-Zen for social workers, psychologists, counselors and other helping professionals to utilize in working with adolescents and/or adults in individual and/or group modalities in
a wide variety of settings (i.e. schools, colleges, agencies)
• Workshops for school staffs (regular and/or special education) on understanding and using Tao-Zen in the classroom
• Workshops and presentations on Tao-Zen wisdom for conferences, organizations, groups, colleges….

The Use of Poetry to Facilitate Learning, Change and Growth
• Workshops using the poetry of Rilke, Rumi, Kabir and other masters as well as Red Bear’s own poetry...

Fire, Earth, Water, and Air
• Workshop on Elemental Energies for the Regular and/or Special Education Classroom Teacher
• Workshop on Elemental Energies for Helping Professionals (i.e. Social Workers, Counselors,


  • Guest
Surely he will be relaxed about any research and questioning :) :

Ask me Questions
By Red Bear

Please ask me questions. Ask me lots of questions. Ask me trivial questions. Ask me meaningful questions. Please ask me questions. I will listen to your questions and do my best to share with you. I am struck by how rarely people ask questions. I don’t understand why people fail to ask questions.

Please be a ceaseless, persist, curious, seeking to learn question asker.

He's Kevin H Dubrow Social Worker Clinical, Licensed # 149003657 Illinois

His verbiage is a challenge to plow through, looks like he uses the "throw everything at the wall and see what sticks" technique.


  • Guest
Nancy Desert Lizard Heraty

My spiritual life journey has taken me on a path to share yoga on Jungian inspired Retreats and Vision Quests in Wisconsin, Chicago, and Sedona, Arizona, led by my soulmate Red Bear. I am also an accomplished clay artist, which combined with yoga, brings an opportunity to teach yoga to young aspiring artists at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. My clay journey was mentored by Mata Ortiz potter Juan Quesada and Michael Wisner at Anderson Ranch in Colorado.

Uses name "DL" - Nancy "DL" Heraty

"Storyteller, Mentor, Shaman" Red Bear Part 1 of a series of videos, storytelling workshops, can get a good sense of the man through watching a little of this

Offline Superdog

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Dubrow has a channel on youtube.

More damaging to his consulting business than anything IMHO.  Here's the first vid (of 8) where he begins a workshop at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.....boring his attendees to tears and badgering them to participate.

and a comment from one of the attendees:
"This so called workshop really left me cold. For a storyteller? to have to bully his audience into responding, even to infer that he's doing them a favour suggests to me that the storyteller is not that good at what he does. I am a storyteller and know many others, but have never met one so aggressive as this. I am also tired of hearing tellers have to justify everything they do to make it special. Good storytelling needs no justification. The enjoyment it elicits is the justification!"

He advertises himself in the vids as "Storyteller, Mentor, Shaman".  Watching'd think he was talking to a kindergarten class (except for the occasional swearing).  In vid 2, (about 1:40) he pretty much reveals that he researches "Native American Rituals" on google.



  • Guest
Description of a young person's experience with Dubrow:

I began to sob, as I had never sobbed in my life, knowing what I had to do.  Just as I thought the pain would kill me, Red Bear stood up before me.  He told everyone to back up, and began to shout.  He said he was going to destroy me.  He told me to run, because I couldn't stand up to him.  If I tried to stand my ground he was going to go through me. Betwixt the sound of my sobbing and Red Bear swearing at me, I rediscovered the somber and strong voice of my warrior within.  Not a minute passed before I stood firmly and shouted with such power the stars seemed to quake in the night sky “I WILL NOT BE GONE THROUGH!!!”  There was a moment of silence, and then Red Bear smiled and said “that's right. The shadow can never stand up to the Warrior.”  Only later did I understand the profound nature of that experience, as the remainder of the evening was spent crying the tears of my soul in the arms of my comrades.

Some students:

Chad White Wolf Koch

Vanessa (Kell) Jankowski / Vanessa Soaring Souls Hawk Kell / Vanessa Paige Kell

Cassandra Sun Owl Dara-Abrams

Thomas R Undine / Tom Sitting Wolf Undine  / Sitting Wolf with Bright Vulture

Daryl Mortensen / Loving Flowing Dolphin
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 02:52:56 pm by Epiphany »


  • Guest
More evidence of his rudeness and belligerence, this from "Canyon de Chelly Tour by Red Bear":

Our Navaho guide is a nice man
       trying to be funny and entertaining
       thoroughly modern as he busily drives
       the 1950s Korean made 6 wheel drive vehicle
       through unmarked terrain
I ask about medicine
       and he gives a polite answer
       returning to his work
       which he feels fortunate to have
       as there is much financial poverty here
       and more sadly perhaps as much spiritual poverty

Kevin Dubrow is a fan of Robert Bly's "Men's Movement" Iron John writings, can see a lot of that influence in his own work.

Offline educatedindian

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 The Wayless Path, The Pathless Way: Tao, Zen, and The Journey
Red Bear, shaman, will share teachings and stories from the Tao, Zen, and Journey traditions. The stories told by Red Bear are not the communication of words, but the sharing of teachings, learnings, meaning, and wisdom. The stories Red Bear shares recreate in the present moment the magic and mystery of the oral tradition—before the written word, television, movies, and computer screens.
Everyone is encouraged to come join the passion, humor, joy, saddness, and suspense of this adventure in shared stories, hosted by STAND.
About STAND:
This special event is hosted by STAND, the student anti-genocide coalition, which offers the following description: “If the world is saved, if will be not by old minds with new programs but by new minds with no programs at all” (Dan Quinn, Ishmael). It is in the spirit of this teaching that, while STAND continues to initiate and participate in programs of outer change, we also seek to engender inner change, growth, and awareness for the positive effects it will bring to positive community involvement.
About Red Bear:
Kevin Red Bear Dubrow has studied Zen, Taoism, and Jungian psychology since 1970. He holds a bachelors degree in Business Administration from Baruch College (1974) and a masters in social work (1976), and he completed doctoral course work and exams at the University of Chicago (1982). In the last 34 years, he has conducted hundreds of workshops and seminars across the country on more than 40 themes and topics. Since 1976, he has utilized his own approach to mentoring older adolescents, young adults, and adults using Jungian Wisdom, Zen, Taoism, and many traditional counseling, therapy, and social work models. Red Bear feels that there must be great laughter and wonderful stories, and he is known for his ability to help others understand and work with youth, teenagers, and adults. Learn more at his website.
Event details:
When: April 25, lecture from 1:30-3:30 p.m., followed by Q&A
Where: Templeton Campus Center, Council Chamber
Cost: Free
Contact: For more information about STAND, contact For event questions, contact

WTH would an anti genocide group have Dubrow there? Could a bad storyteller peddling vision quests for adult businessmen  and being verbally abusive to kids have stopped genocide in Rwanda or Darfur?

There are so many better choices for speakers, local NDN tribes, Holocaust survivors, Rwandan immigrants, you name it. If they wanted a Taoist, they should have gone to a Taoist and not a Nuage huckster.

I'm definitely contacting Stand, the two emails I bolded, to find out if this quack is being paid with public money and ask why they could not have chosen from literally hundreds of better choices. And I encourage others to do the same.

Offline thetruth

  • Posts: 9
Hey there-

I was actually a part of this group but left due to its abusive and controlling nature.

The 'kkell' email for the Stand event is actually one of the members of the group, so I doubt that he would respond.

This book was written by one of the members:

Offline Groupbegins

  • Posts: 2

I was in this group led by him. I felt that he had zero tolerance for outside input and did not want his group to see anyone outside of it, even family members. Many quickly went back to contacting their family members after his death. I noticed he also would be angry or upset if you wanted to explore any other mentors or teachers, or had a process that did not match up with his control. If you expressed wanting to leave the group I witnessed people being abused by the entire group, especially him. At that point if you did leave you would be dead to him and were left with no friends, family or support network at all.

I never witnessed him having any contact with peers or having any checks and balances. From my observation his only friends were his approval seeking clients which seemed very toxic and enmeshing. In my opinion he was money obsessed and narcissistic and incredibly volatile. I felt that he used group dynamics to wind people up in order to accomplish his needs and agenda for the community, much of which was seemed to be self serving.

Kevin Dubrow passed away some time ago. He had an LSCW and many of his followers became social workers themselves. He wanted his social worker followers to bring him their clients so that they would be in his community with all of them. Many were in groups and enmeshed with their former clients for years. Does any of that sound ethical to you?

Immediately after he passed away, his wife Nancy DL Heraty and his self-professed top journeyer Vanessa Kell Jankowski took over the group. There was no time for grieving or respect for anyone’s feelings. There was no space for sharing what some thought he did that was wrong or unethical or immoral or abusive. They needed a new group that continued in his ways. Needless to say, about half of the 30 something people walked away and the original community collapsed nearly overnight. Those that stayed continued in a group led by Nancy DL Heraty and Vanessa Jankowski.

Someone or some people rewrote his website (parts of the original have been quoted above in this thread) to look much more clean and appealing. After his death, they scrubbed out all about his shamanism. I wonder how he would’ve felt? Seems to me it was a business decision on a lot of the social workers’ part. Many of them write about Kevin Dubrow in their bios and do not want his bio to look sloppy or too out there! Also they knew about this New Age Frauds website and the negative attention it garnered for him. But If they are so proud of his legacy why did they delete key elements of who he was, and rewrite his own words? I’m confused...

Google “The Center For Change And Healing,” in Burr Ridge, IL.  All four on the website were group members of Kevin Red Bear Dubrow.


  • Guest
The stories of anyone who participated in these groups is so helpful, thank you.

The Center For Change And Healing

Their current site does look scrubbed. Though I see mention of drum circles, which occasionally are problematic.

They have applied a Jungian gloss which is not effective for everyone.

This is b.s.:

Women need to start in Yin, the feminine, softness, sensitivity and move into strength. Men need to start in strength and move into softness and sensitivity in order for there to be mental health


  • Guest
Their licensed social worker license numbers:

Vanessa Paige Kell
Vanessa Kell Jankowski

Kyle Joseph Jankowski

Emily Jacobs Fitz

Kevin Andrew Kell

Search for license here
Any complaints against them can be filed here
Illinois social worker code

Offline tfenix

  • Posts: 4
I was part of this group but left a few months before Kevin Dubrow died. It was an authoritarian, hypocritical, and mentally abusive group. Anyone who left the group for any reason was spoken badly about, including the man who had a nervous breakdown.

 I had been thinking about leaving for a long time and made the mistake of telling one of the women (who from the last post was one of the people who took over), and ended up getting berated in front of the group. I stayed for several more months. The last straw was when one of the licensed social workers brought her client into the group. If that isn't illegal, it was certainly unethical.

One of the most terrifying moments was watching this 60 year old man throwing a literal temper tantrum over the group not getting him a good enough present.

I have a hard time trusting any social worker after the experience I had with this group. Its been a few years and I'm still angry at these people. I feel bad for any of their patiens.


  • Guest
Having been in this group, I've thought a lot about what went wrong - and YES - something did go wrong. When the entire group falls in on itself within a few months after the leader's death - then YES - there were issues.

1. One can argue that the "intent" of using spiritual practices from natives or simply making them up is not harmful. I understand how what one does in one's personal time using one's imagination can be ok or even good. But to advertise oneself as a healer then form a "community" based on a combination of a business model, a therapy model, a fake "tribal" model and then switch back and forth based mainly on what works for the leader is NOT ok.

2. Yes, a lot of it was "helpful." I was helped by this group and this leader. I do not think the main purpose IN THE BEGINNING was to take advantage of people. I do believe that the original "intent" was good, though not very well thought out. I do think by the end, the leader's issues overwhelmed the group/community and people were left to sacrifice their own needs for him.

3. There were some serious group dynamic problems that go beyond the scope of this forum. The group dynamics resembled that of a family of a narcissist, complete with scapegoats, lost children, and of course of course the "golden children." No shock that after his death the scapegoats got the F out of there and the golden children took over. I can only hope that they aren't repeating this dynamic with their new followers.

4. A lot of it was confusing. So we were a community and basically due to time and money constraints as well as pressure (and the fact that many of us did come from toxic, abusive families which is why were seekers in the first place), there were no people outside this group whom we had for support. This made what he did by the end all the more abusive - telling people if it wasn't "working" for them, then they should just "leave." And go where? So basically, organize a group, isolate all the members from anyone else who can help them, put tons of pressure on people to NOT have any other mentors or guides or therapists or anyone who could give them some perspective, then let them know if they don't like it, leave. Awesome! And where the hell where the new mothers supposed to go after they found out, "nothing was changing for parents" and one of the teaching was that the only really valid method of parenting was to be a stay-at-home mother? Would they leave their husbands who were in it all with them? Stay in a shelter? Nope. Just stay and suffer being sidelined and ignored.

5. Sorry but no, all these years later, and I haven't forgotten. I doubt I will ever forget the betrayal of so many close "friends," the vast majority of whom were followers and couldn't stand up for anything resembling truth or ethics by the end and whose main objective was to defend what happened, even though they know deep down a lot of it was wrong (or else why was his website "edited").

6. Finally, when you as the new self-appointed leaders of the "new and improved group" decided to make your new and improved group, maybe ask some of the people who were scapegoated and sidelined for years what they see as the issues and actually listen instead of further scapegoating and abusing them so you can get your way. Just a thought for when your current group falls to pieces, as I can only assume it will since the toxic issues were NOT dealt with.


  • Guest
Also...I want to add that there ARE good therapists out there who can and do help and don't involve all their needs and issues in your healing.

One of the major ways I know something was wrong is that I've been able to work on a lot of areas of my life that I never could or never would have in that "community."

Offline Sparks

  • Posts: 1027
There is a new post in the "Member Introductions" section almost entirely about the topic of this thread:

I'm new to this site. While fortunately the leader of my New Age Group/Community/cult never professed to have any lineage to Native Americans, he did charge for things like "vision quests" and borrowed heavily from what seems to me to be Lakota traditions, but they were so muddled that I am not sure. He also used many other "truths'" that he got from various books, therapists, philosophers, etc., so it wasn't just one thing.

Of course, this was just one of a myriad of issues  - to me the major issue with many of these gurus is that they are preying on hurt people who are desperate for healing and are usually in a position of power. This one was an LCSW. Their "healing" modalities are untested and made up on the fly, and many end up hurting people. Their clients completely depend upon them and THAT IS THE POINT. The "quests" happened once a year, and the rest of the time, he was using other things like Zen, poetry, or whatever he wanted to "help" people. While some of it was helpful, I feel that my spirituality eventually became stunted. First of all, it was too reliant on him. Second, it was reliant on a borrowed/mishmash of something that he really didn't fully understand. If I had visions that did not fit into his "Native American viewpoint" then they were made fun of or dismissed. So basically, I had a secret spirituality within his already secret group. No wonder I felt crazy.

His home was filled with art made my various Native American artists, and so was mine. I can't even look at those things anymore, as it just fills me with sadness. The second he died, his wife/former client had to sell these supposedly sacred objects (most of which we, his followers, bought for him directly or indirectly) in a garage sale to us. It was so gross, so profane and so against everything I thought this "community" was about. I was at a young, impressionable age when I met him, and I was leaving an abusive family. I really didn't know any better but now I do. I can't imagine being the age he was at the time (late 40s) and doing this stuff! It seems crazy to me now.

It is extremely ARROGANT for a white person (oh, ok, some of them claim they are 5% Native American or something...doesn't count, sorry) to just TAKE rituals from cultures they don't understand and organize their "community" and make MONEY off their "community" and oh...wait for soon as any children are born, completely turn on your members who have children because that doesn't fit. What Native American culture ever decided "children" weren't part of their community? I'd really like to know. I never got an apology or anything from him, his wife or the various "social workers" who sat by and allowed this to happen, though they like to profess they are great leaders and should be looked up to as "elders." What a joke.

At this point, I do not want to use/borrow things I really know little about firsthand. It isn't my culture, and it doesn't seem right to just use whatever I feel like. On the other hand, it isn't easy leaving such a group (he died and half the members continued on, no apologies, etc.) and trying to figure out how to be a spiritual person. But it does seem unnecessary to borrow rituals from other cultures when I can easily look up my own history/culture and use those. There are also plenty of progressive churches I could belong to for a sense of community so that I can engage in justice work/volunteering.

I think the msot painful realization i had is that the group was ALL ABOUT MONEY. Members who really needed to go and live their lives were pressured to stay so he could keep making money. Women had children and were verball abused and not supported by him or his group (probably because they couldn't buy his quests anymore). That's how I felt by the end. It was so toxic and so not why I joined. Very little spirituality was left and the entire thing was a three-ring circus with him as circus trainer.

All I know now is No MORE GURUS. And I never did nor will I ever make money off of other culture's spirituality.

If I sound angry, that's because I am. I feel people like this take advantage of others to boost their own egos and since they are borrowing from cultures white people don't really understand and can't, they can make up whatever they like for their BUSINESS.