I am amazed at the present trend making the internet rounds that the nations will somehow save everybody, when the truth is we are struggling to save ourselves-in one way it removes personal responsibility.
It somehow doesn’t matter about the increase of rampant abuses that exist on the rez, the growth of gangs, alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty, crime, and rape, the idea(?) that none of this matters and everyone can hinge their and the world’s salvation upon us is mind boggling.
Doesn’t matter that the same “spirituality” earmarked to be the vehicle for this is routinely commercialized and corrupted-a corruption and commercialization to rival that of the Catholic and Protestant churches.
While our purveyors of pay to pray, cleanse, and be enlightened, like Crow Dog, haven’t gotten around to selling dispensations as yet everything else is accompanied by a price tag.
Is the selling of e prayers viewed as a part of the process-a talisman to ward off evil spirits, elevate one’s conciousness, and enhance their aura?
Does anyone honestly believe paying to sweat or attend ceremony will be an epiphany? Or is it just the novelty of it like going to Disney Land-photos to share with others of vacation time?
If any pay Crow Dog or a “liberator” to make an appearance do they actually believe their name has been entered into “the book of life”-or are they merely the proverbial fool soon separated from his money?
Tune into a televangelist for a few moments-take note of how they work the audience, what they present that can be had for a “love offering” and then ask yourself what is the difference?
The entire AIM, liberators, spiritual leaders thing is unraveling like a cheap KMart suit-it and they are the ultimate foreign made non indigenous fabric-the ripoff faux Givenchys and Rolex.
There is a wealth of wisdom among our elders-those who really have it aren’t broadcasting it because they’ve seen how it is being commercialized and destroyed.
They are the gatekeepers-not the pay to play variety, and what they have isn’t being offered on the auction block-no plastic sweats with designer bottled water and a for real Indian buffet to follow.
No sharing of “ancient” wisdom by the equivalent of used car salesmen jingling change in their pocket and offering autographed copies of their books for a “love donation”.
These things remind me of those get rich quick seminars where the only people who benefit are those giving the seminar-difference being the product offered is instant Indianification- which rhymes with fornication, and obviously related-because the participant quite frankly is getting screwed.
For those who have money to burn one would think it would be better spent directed towards something meaningful-something that benefits people rather than an individual or a group of grifters.
From the Urban Dictionary:
A grifter is someone who swindles you through deception or fraud.
Synonyms include fraudster, con artist, cheater, confidence man, scammer, hustler, swindler, etc.
“The impasse seems to be constant. Indians are unable to get non-Indians to accept them as contemporary beings. Non-Indians either cannot or will not respond to the problems of contemporary Indians. They insist on remaining in the last century with old Chief Red Fox, whoever he may really be, reciting a past that is basically mythological, thrilling, and comforting.” – Vine Deloria, Jr – GOD IS RED
Reciting a past, and a present, that is under constant revision by our own grifters.
A contention made by DeLoria was that “religious views” are grounded to locations and not universal-I find a measure of truth in that-all one needs to do is examine where they arise and under what circumstances to understand Deloria’s meaning-but I won’t go so far as to say that within each some degree of universality doesn’t exist.
I’ve always believed there is one Creator who manifests himself to people and cultures in such a way that each understands and their needs are met- that geographic location is a mitigating factor in this manifestation-and that within that context there exists what can be referred to as universal truths.
This can be seen among the nations and the world at large, as no two nations among us believe exactly the same. The problems arise when any claim their’s is the ONE and only way-as we see is the case with Christianity, Islam, and others.
All of which results from the corrupting influence of man, ego, the desire for power and position-and perhaps more to the point….money.
These are the attributes of those among who sell our beliefs, and as such should be recognized for exactly what they are-recognized and denounced.
Think about that the next time you purchase a dream catcher, gush over an internet video of “sacred teachings”, or order those DVDs you’re confident will serve to enlighten you.
A blonde can dye their hair black if they like, but they remain a blonde, sticking feathers in one’s hair, learning a few words, or attending a pay to pray event likewise doesn’t alter reality.
For those who truly respect the nations beliefs then do so, respect them-don’t sign up for the grifter jamboree and hayride.