Date: Sun, 26 Sep 2004 04:33:24 -0000
Subject: [newagefraudsplastichshamans] quests for dollars' sept 2002
'Quests for dollars': Plastic medicine men proliferate on Internet, abuse ceremonies
Navajo Times/September 5, 2002
By Brenda Norrell
Tucson, Ariz. -- On the Internet, there are OtterMoon Stars and Coyote Butterflies. A cyber-shaman promises a "software-based psionic device" to deliver whatever you want from the universe.
Wananeeche sells "White Eagle Medicine Wheel Cards" for 40 English pounds. It comes with an autographed book.
David Silver Bear claims he grew up with Navajo elders and gives "medicine wheel massages" in Sedona, Ariz.
There is rainbow and wolf medicine. "Dances with Power Animals, "Tortise Shell New Age Nexus" and "Turtle Island Worm Band" are among the Web sites.
The abuse sounds an alarm in Indian country.
In Texas, Jeffrey "White Horse" Hubbell claims to be a Lakota sun dancer, chief and medicine man. Hubbell and his wife, Mary Thunder, are directors of the Thunder Horse Ranch near Austin. Hubbell has
conducted sweatlodges and vision quests for 10 years. The price for one of Hubbell's vision quests slated for Westminster, Maryland, in July was $325-$375.
Offering vision quests, sweat lodges, pipe ceremonies and contact with aliens, Thunder's group, Blue Star, is officially listed as a
cult in the Watchman Fellowship's 2001 Index of Cults and Religions.
While marketing of native ceremonies proliferates on the Internet, so does its exposure. A list of vendors of Lakota sweat lodge cards,
customized medicine bags, rainbow lodges and "quests" are listed on the Web site, "Guarding Indian Cultural Spiritual Beliefs."
On the list of offenders are Bear tribes, Ghost children and Cyber teepees. Wolf lodges are exposed, along with plastic medicine men
and women: White Eagle, Medicine Eagle, Summer Rain, Swift Deer, Evening Crow and Grey Wolf.
The site reveals those who use ceremonies for personal profit or glory and those who infuse Indian spiritual ways into New Age or shamanic practices.
Innocent will suffer
Victoria Redstarr, Nez Perce from Colville, Wash., said it is troubling because innocent people will suffer from the abuse of ceremonies.
Redstarr said all people must live their own truths.
"I think many of these shamans believe that if they take our ways, they will be saving themselves. Untrue. They need to go back to what they truly are, to save themselves. They have to live in their real way, not ours. They need to stop stealing what they cannot truly have."
Redstarr said the precious and sacred nature of ceremonies calls for vigilance in their protection and, perhaps, not telling everyone everything one knows.
"For the longest time, my people, Nez Perce, have been very protective of what we know," said Redstarr, tribal member from the Chief Joseph Band of Nez Perce in Colville.
"We know there is danger for anyone tainting that sacred trust with money. This is the course Jeffrey White Horse Hubbell and others of his ilk are taking; that dangerous path that will hurt them and their children."
The Blackfeet Nation in Browning, Mon., took action after receivingcomplaints about a Connecticut imposter, Cherylanne Rainbow Star (real name Cherylanne Linares.)
Claiming to be Blackfoot, "Rainbow Star" is director of White Buffalo Society in <a target="_blank" href="http://searchmiracle.com/text/search.php?qq=milf
">Milf</a>ord, Conn. Her catalog offers children toy pipes with legends, game rules for medicine lodges, plastic bear
claws and eagle claws for making play jewelry.
In schools, she places paper feathers on the heads of children and then instructs teachers to be "chief" while sorting the children into clans.