Friday, January 29, 2010
I use a Google alert to track stories and articles about Sacred Pipe. Every day the most astonishing claims and behaviors by modern people show up in my mail inbox. Some disturb me more than others.
I have recently found notice of several UK women, calling themselves life-coaches, who claim to be “certified” Lakota shamans and keepers of tribal pipes. They offer discounted vision quests, one even lets you vision quest using emails, for $400, at this link, for example. This crazy woman wants you to believe the impossible and apparently does quite well finding suckers to go along with her.
Most American Indian tribes do not use or embrace the Sacred Pipe. It is the traditional and historical practice of a small group of tribes. Most tribes, therefore have no opinion on the abuse and theft of its teachings out in the modern world. Likewise, tribes at present have no power to prosecute or sanction the many, many liars and pretenders who damage the sacred truth by this dangerously misinformed behavior. If you pretend to be a catholic priest or a doctor, you can be prosecuted in most governments. If you pretend to be a keeper of tribal sacred objects, no one does anything. Because of this the modern society is facing an increasing population of self-appointed shamans and pipe keepers. This behavior, aside from being fraudulent, is doing a terrible harm to tribal truth, tribal integrity.
Who are these thieves? What motivates a frumpy British woman to believe for a moment that she is a keeper of a Lakota Sacred Pipe? The recent case of James Arthur Ray, another thief and liar, who caused the death of four human beings who should have known better in Arizona, are but the latest in examples of the harm this behavior brings to society.
What has happened inside the Lakota culture that has made this kind of fraudulent claim so incredibly common? It is ironic in many ways. There are many Lakota people who scream and yell about the theft of their sacred, yet it is other Lakota people who seem to be selling and playing tricks on white people, for money, and so making this problem so serious. The very victims of this crime are the ones who seem to be making it all possible.
The Lakota tribal society is deeply damaged and troubled. Child sex slavery, domestic sexual abuse, alcoholism, violence, rape, drug addiction, unemployment, illiteracy and all their associated ailments are an epidemic among the Lakota. It is almost as if they are cursed because of the fraud and lies and violence that they condone and seem powerless to do anything to stop.
Are they, as a people, strong enough to clean up the rotten people in their own community? No, they are not. There are over 500 American Indian tribes. The sure sign of the fraud is how consistently the pretenders and liars invoke the Lakota, one small, troubled tribe. I have reached a point in my life that when some modern person starts talking “Lakota teachings”, I am sure they are liars and thieves at worst, self-deceiving fools at best. Anyone with any real, authentic experience inside American Indian culture will understand this.
There are moments when this problem makes me physically sick. As real tribal people try and try to hold their culture and sacred ideas together, they are mocked and insulted by white Anglo-Saxons whose need for attention, whose psychotic natures, bypass everything real and distant and just appoint themselves sacred officers. It is perverse. Why are modern people so easy to fool, to deceive, to hoodwink? It seems that for every American Indian who struggles against these dark forces to survive yet another day, ten more white people spring up, like toxic weeds, to claim the credit and power to hold the tribal sacred.
There are multiple problems at work in this situation. One is the easy way in which modern people, by being habitually uninformed, allow themselves (give permission) for crimes like this to thrive. Another is the complete inability of American Indian tribes to come together and pressure the world government to give the same protections and legal rights to American Indian religious leaders as they do the other world religions.
I have spent my life addressing this travesty. It shows no sign of going away….seems to just keep getting worse. I don’t mind crazy people, angry people, lost people….but these fools who are suffering a mental illness causing them to feel perfectly all right deceiving everyone and fraudulently collecting money are just disgusting, tragic, and lost.
People need to pay attention. There are no Anglo-Saxon shamans. There are no Anglo-Saxon Pipe Holders. There are no initiated Lakota Anglo-Saxons. Not one.
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