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Frauds and plastic shamans

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  • Vigdisdotter
    I think the term "plastic shaman" is an interesting one and one that has definite uses. That said, I also think it's over used the same way that "fluffy bunny" is.

    To me, the Plastic Shaman is one that is out to make a quick buck and uses fraudulent claims of training and/or linage to draw people in. In other words, a con man. But there are many people out there claiming to be shamans who do so with absolute sincerity and no desire to part the foolish from their money (the whole payment of shamans is another debate for another time). There are people that are looking at Shamanism a something that speaks to them, something that makes sense and thus is something they follow. I don't think this makes them Plastic Shamans in any sense of the term. Now if they started going around claiming a false heritage--be it Cree or the Pleiades--I would be looking to remove myself from their company and probably warn others the person isn't what they claim. However, in my experience with "white shamans" this is rarely the case. Most are up front about who and what they are.

    So I have to admit that I'm more then a little skeptical when the term "Plastic Shaman" is being tossed about. Especially since those First Nation practices are derived from assorted European ones, thanks to the migration of people over the long submerged land bridge between Siberia and Alaska.

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  • petrus4
    started a topic Frauds and plastic shamans

    Frauds and plastic shamans

    I was looking at some links on, which is a somewhat New Age oriented website, which I've gone to for news on close to a daily basis, since 2005. As I was doing so, I noticed another video had been placed on YouTube, urging people to, "go back to our roots." The speaker was identified as, "Robert Morning Sky," and it started off with a lot of cliched quotes from different movies, including The Matrix.

    The topic of fraudulent white shamans has come up repeatedly for me recently, for some reason. I think it's simply because I spend time on Mayan Majix, and a few other similar sites here and there, such as Reality Sandwich, which sponsors "Evolver Intensive," workshops, which to me basically have FRAUD written all over them. Another name which has come up on Mayan Majix, who I've now discovered to be a known fraud, is Keisha Crowther, the fake pseudonym of a non-native woman who also refers to herself as, "Little Grandmother," and claims to be a shaman.

    So over the last few days, I've been putting in searches for literally every prominent white shaman I could think of. I don't think there's been a single one, who didn't have a thread dedicated to them on this site:-

    Perhaps predictably, one of the people who apparently gets the most airtime on that forum, is Michael Harner, the ostensible founder of "core shamanism." There's a summary of how he got started here, which is linked to from the above site, via the Wayback Machine.

    MonSno, I remember when we were on ESF, the name Brooke Medicine Eagle came up. I immediately suspected a blatant fraud, and it turns out I was right. There's quite a lot of information about her here if you're interested, but the short version is that she and her partner are both known con artists, and she has been explicitly disowned by the Crow tribe.

    Apparently like Michael Harner, Brooke was one of the biggest names in the plastic shaman scene during the late 80s and early to mid 90s. I remember when I was reading a book on plant intelligence while living in Nimbin, the author mentioned having spoken to her. It seems to have fallen apart for her these days, however.

    For the record, no, I do not claim to be a shaman myself at all. Where magick is concerned, I don't actually make any claim about myself whatsoever any more; I literally do not do anything, these days. I've failed once too often as far as personal development is concerned, at least for the time being; now literally all I do is sit on the computer and play Minecraft alone, because that is the only thing I know of, where I am not going to get into trouble or potentially cause harm to anyone else, or be condemned by someone.

    I've also said repeatedly that I do not believe that any white individual should ever self-identify with the word shaman, and to do so is only likely to bring accusations of fraud, whether deserved or otherwise.

    With that said, however, it should also be noted that the individuals mentioned here, are commercialistic frauds. People have died as a result of taking part in their fake "sweat lodge," rituals, among other things, and one of the most common elements with all of these people, is their tendency to charge thousands of dollars for 3-4 day "workshops."

    So I felt I needed to make this thread, in order to warn people. There are apparently a very large number of charlatans out there; in fact, the articles written by natives that I've come across on this topic, has basically implied that if a person is white, and refers to themselves as a shaman, then that in itself is an indicator that they are a fraud. The Indians seem to be extremely angry with anyone non-Indian who tries to have anything remotely to do with their beliefs, which to me, should by itself serve as sufficient deterrent against white individuals doing it.

    Documents such as this very much seem to typify the apparent native attitude towards non-natives attempting to adopt their belief systems. We need to stay well away; they view it as white society trying to take from them, literally the last thing they have left.
    Last edited by petrus4; August 3rd, 2012, 01:58 PM.