Earthwalkers Article

NOTE: This article will run in the July 2010 issue of Earthwalkers Magazine.  This is just a sneak preview

Living in Asheville here in western North Carolina is great. The mountains and valleys are beautiful – the people, for the most part, are open minded – and there are so many artists tucked away in these hills and hollers that it would take a life time to see them all.

There is a downside though. I did a Google search last week on the search term “spiritual healer Asheville” and Mr. Google returned over 19,800 search results. I didn’t do a scientific study to see how many of those results were duplicates. So let’s be generous. Let’s say fully half were copies. That still leaves almost 10,000 results.

Now probably most of those ten thousand are honest and sincere in their spiritual healing “practice”. They’re out to help mankind and make their corner of the world a better place. But I bet some of them are just out to see what they can get.

After traveling so much for the past few years, I’ve run across my fair share of spiritual healers. Most good – some no better than the guy at the carnival trying to separate you from your last three dollars by getting you to throw a basketball through a hoop that’s two sizes too small.

The other day I was talking with a friend who is seeking out the services of a healer. Our conversation got me to thinking. Are there some relatively easy ways for an open-minded person to tell a true spiritual healer from a fake and a fraud? Well, yes. There are.

So I set down, made myself some notes and did another Google search. What you’re about to read is a combination of my own experiences as well as knowledge gained from talking to true spiritual healers and all this with a healthy dose of world wide web thrown in. So don’t take my word for all this – be resourceful and check it out for yourself.

If you get angry with me while you’re reading this, don’t point the finger at me. Ask yourself why you’re getting this “gut check”. If you find yourself getting defensive while reading this article, then maybe you need to take a look at the path that you’re following. And if you’re one of the many that claim to be “shamans” or “healers” and you’re getting irate about this article, then you need to check your motivation at the door – because you’re a fake and a fraud.

First, there’s some basic – actually almost common sense – warning signs about the fraud that is calling himself a healer. NOTE: And by the way, if you feel the need to protect your “shaman” or “healer” that by itself should be enough of a warning sign that something with them is not quite right.

Warning Sign #1. They accept money for their services. Or they paint the picture that they are doing you a “favor” by providing their services for free. A genuine healer knows that the healing belongs first to the spirit and then to the community. There can never be a charge for services, or even a hint of waiving any fees. For example, “If a “shaman” tells you – ‘I like you and can help you. Normally I charge X number of dollars, but for you, I’ll work with you for free’ – RUN FOR THE HILLS.

Warning Sign #2. They call themselves a Shaman. No one (outside of Russia and a small geographical area of India) uses this term. It just “sounds” Indian and cool.

Warning Sign #3. Your “shaman” refuses to accompany you to the tribe and/or nation in which he or she claims membership. Your “shaman” knows that if they do set foot on a reservation, they will instantly be classified for what they are – a fake and a fraud.

Warning Sign #4. They “treat” people of the opposite sex without another member of the opposite sex being present. In other words, a genuine male medicine man will NOT treat a female unless the female has a trusted female partner with her. And by trusted, female partner – I don’t mean trusted by the medicine man, but rather trusted by the client.

Warning Sign #5. If a genuine American Indian questions the veracity and genealogy of your “shaman”, and the “shaman” tends to get defensive – CALL OUT MAYDAY!

Warning Sign #6. Does your “shaman” claim to be (or have been adopted by) an Indian tribe? Indian tribes don’t ADOPT and make people a “shaman”. A medicine man is a position that is handed down from generation to generation to generation. You can’t be “adopted” and “taught” the ways of the medicine man.

Warning Sign #7. If you carefully listen – and listen with an open mind – does your “healer” ask more questions of you than you do of him? If he’s a healer, then his job is to GIVE information and answer questions – NOT ASK YOU QUESTIONS. It’s kinda like going to a psychic and having the psychic ask you, “why are you here”. Jeepers, if they’re a real psychic, they’d KNOW! Same thing with a “healer”.

Now before you go and start defending your “shaman” because he or she is doing it with good intent remember something. It just takes a drop of poison to taint the water. Don’t understand? Let me explain.

If I gave you a glass of water you’d probably drink it. Especially if you saw me get the water right from the tap or pour it from a water bottle. But how about if I poured you a glass of water and put just one tiny drop of cyanide in it. Would you drink it? Of course not and it’s a stupid question.

But looking at the 90% or even 99% of what a healer may do to benefit, if there’s ANY fraud, then it’s spiritual poison and comparable to just one tiny drop of cyanide in the glass of water.

A Faker has three primary objectives when establishing a relationship with an individual.


First, the Faker wants to control the situation by convincing the prey of his/her legitimacy. The Faker may try to impress you with their background, knowledge, and “Indian-ness”. The Fake will sometimes use unsuspecting common acquaintances and drop names of well-known and respected people to further their quest for legitimacy.

A Faker will quickly determine your personal needs and capitalize on this by dangling an emotional or spiritual carrot that will somehow satisfy that need.  By controlling the carrot, the Faker controls you.  The Fake is a master of emotions and uses this tool to open your pocket book through your heart. And if you’re a female – it’s not just your pocket book he’s after.

The process of usurping your trust does not happen overnight. The experienced Fake is patient and allows time to soften your defenses.  Sometimes, the Faker works on several individuals unknown to each other so comparing notes is more difficult. So ask the Faker for the names of some of the other people he’s working with. If he comes up with ANY excuse for not giving you several names of people with whom you can speak – then WARNING!!!

Second, the Faker sometimes wants you to feed their ego and sense of grandeur.   Fakes sometimes like to give themselves respected titles (impossible to verify) and assume positions within small groups to feed insecurities.  They probably want this more than money.

Third, the Faker may start by asking for small gifts or favors, then as you appear to be getting closer to the carrot, the ante goes up and larger gifts and more money – and sometimes more of your time and of yourself — are required.

Why this article? Simple.

People need to know that real Indians are not fooled.

Unfortunately, too many people want help so bad that they are willing to allow themselves to be fooled. They are willing to suspend skepticism of their healer because the hurt, the pain and the crap going on in their life has just become too much to bear alone and they’ll seek out almost any friendly person who calls themselves a healer and promises a “cure”.

So I’ll set here at my favorite table at Firestorm. Please be sure to keep this article in mind the next time you speak to a healer. Tell him or her about the article and then tell them I’ll be more than happy to meet with them. If they’re fake, they won’t take the challenge.

NOTE: Here’s a great YOU Tube Video on this very topic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vc7hHJyzUg

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