Sweat Lodge Sex Scandal

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catherine yronwode

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Feb 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/5/98
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I, catherine yronwode, am posting this on behalf of my housemate,
Jennifer Starr, who does not have internet access. This is an open
letter she sent to Steve Red Buffalo, a Lakota man who teaches medicine
ways to all people, including non-Native Americans. A copy has also been
sent to his companion and business partner. What follows is Jennifer's
experience, in her own words:

=============

Steve Red Buffalo,

My last experience in your sweat lodge left me feeling many
different feelings. [Sundance 1997, last lodge before feast.]

I felt uncomfortable with you touching my body in the sweat
lodge. You had your hand on my thigh and calf, squeezing and feeling
them. You reached for my hand, licked it, and held it through most of
the ceremony. I held your hand and prayed for clarity about what was
happening and for the courage to communicate my feelings.

After the lodge i asked you, "Why were you putting your hands on
my neck and back?" I felt uncomfortable in the dark of the sweat lodge.
[I couldn;t come to verbalize about my thighs and calves and your tongue
on my hand.] You told me then that you'd been given the gift to heal
through your hands...you'd received this gift on a vision quest. Then
you went on to say, "I take energy from the younger people because they
can replenish it faster." I said, "I feel there is no need to deplete
anyone's energy, if we are connected to Creator. The Creator I believe
in is infinite. You said, "When I look at you it makes me feel good."

Can we as humyns enjoy the beauty of the daughters of the Earth
(the children) without trying to hoard it, take from it? Isn;t what's
happening now to the Earth about greed, destruction, and abuse to the
MOTHER? The Earth has suppressed her pain for a long time and she's
arising again. She's choosing to speak up, wake up, shake us up, she's
making a stand!

I am a daughter of this Earth Mother. I am here to assist her in
this purification, to purify my secret rage within my own Earth body.
It's been stored for many generations. I honorn my ancestors by taking a
stand now for all the times they didn;t have a voice. It is not okay for
you to touch my body without my permission. This Earth gives and gives
and gives. We must give back... appreciate her beauty, without sneaking
a piece, stealing her essence, let her be safe in her wilderness and
beauty.

Face your desire to possess and have power over such beauty. Have
respect. Know equality. The lodge is supposed to be a safe place to
purify and pray. I felt unclean after that lodge. I left with a stain on
my spirit and inly turh will get it off me. When you want to do a
healing on someone, you need to ask first. And to heal me was not your
intention in that situation... very clear to me.

I pray for a great healing from this communication. The last
thing you said before we left the sweat lodge was, "Don;t go believing
any gossip out there... people like to spread rumors." Well, it's coming
right back to you.

Jennifer Starr Shebear Starrfox
Earthvoice 1998

============

Hello, this is cat again --

Jennifer tells me that since the event described above transpired in
South Dakota in July 1997, Steve has engaged in similar inappropriate
touching during a ceremony in Sonoma County, California, with another
young woman, a friend of hers.

Those in this newsgroup who know me know that i do not lightly carry
another's words here under my byline, but Jennifer is sincere and wants
this information to reach others in the shamanic community. You may
e-mail her at my e-mail address and i will print out any letters and
give them to her. I will also print out for her any responses to this
post in the newsgroup.

For those who do not know me, i can explain that i am a 50 year old
writer-editor who is not involved in Native or shamanic practices, nor
New Age ones either. Jennifer, who rents a room in my house, is in her
early 20s. In other words, she is the age of my own adult daughter. I
will not forward any hurtful messages to her that ridicule her sincere
(albeit naive, in my opinion) belief that she can learn Native ways out
of their cultural context. That is not the issue here.

A web search on Steve Red Buffalo a.k.a. Stephen Red Buffalo turns up
two kinds of web pages: a group of pages describing a UFO conference
hosted by Native Americans at whoich he was a speaker, and a message
asking for money ("in a good way") that was posted on a Native American
bulletin board called The Circle. Jennifer tells me that he does not
charge for the ceremonies he conducts for whites, but asks for "gifts"
and "donations." I know nothing else about him and did not post the
above due to any previous bad experiences with him or even knowledge of
his existence. If someone in the native community knows more of this man
or his activities, i think Jennifer would like to know.

catherine yronwode
c...@luckymojo.com

Lucky Mojo Curio Co: http://www.luckymojo.com/luckymojocatalogue.html
The Lucky W Amulet Archive: http://www.luckymojo.com/LuckyW.html
Sacred Sex: http://www.luckymojo.com/sacredsex.html
The Sacred Landscape: http://www.luckymojo.com/sacredland.html
check out news:alt.lucky.w for folk magic and good luck charms

AKICITA

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Feb 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/5/98
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catherine yronwode wrote:
>
> I, catherine yronwode, am posting this on behalf of my housemate,
> Jennifer Starr, who does not have internet access. This is an open
> letter she sent to Steve Red Buffalo, a Lakota man who teaches medicine
> ways to all people, including non-Native Americans. A copy has also been
> sent to his companion and business partner. What follows is Jennifer's
> experience, in her own words:

Horrifying! It seems to me that when the connection to God is lost, the
first area of life to go awry is the sexual. I've heard about
self-described "teacher" using their power to commit sexual oppression
of females, who should never be treated in such a manner.


> =============

> After the lodge i asked you, "Why were you putting your hands on
> my neck and back?" I felt uncomfortable in the dark of the sweat lodge.
> [I couldn;t come to verbalize about my thighs and calves and your tongue
> on my hand.] You told me then that you'd been given the gift to heal
> through your hands...you'd received this gift on a vision quest. Then
> you went on to say, "I take energy from the younger people because they
> can replenish it faster." I said, "I feel there is no need to deplete
> anyone's energy, if we are connected to Creator. The Creator I believe
> in is infinite. You said, "When I look at you it makes me feel good."

No, that is not true. You were right to be uncomfortable--at least. I
think it's remarkable that you are not damned furious that someone
committed theft of your comfort, theft of your prayer experience, theft
of your right to make decisions about your own body, and theft of your
opportunity to experience worship. The Creator in ANY form--spirit,
Jesus, God, whatever--has always shown total respect for females, and
has never advocated the violation of anyone's comfort or security.


> Face your desire to possess and have power over such beauty. Have
> respect. Know equality. The lodge is supposed to be a safe place to
> purify and pray. I felt unclean after that lodge. I left with a stain on
> my spirit and inly turh will get it off me. When you want to do a
> healing on someone, you need to ask first. And to heal me was not your
> intention in that situation... very clear to me.

I'm, not sure it was you who left with a stain on your soul. I know for
a fact that he did. But this damage cannot injure your soul unless you
let it. Without a doubt, he left a stain on your trust, and on your
happiness in the worship experience, but your soul, I swear to you,
remains undefiled. His soul must take total damage for what happened,
not yours.


> ============

M Kathy McDonald

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Feb 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/5/98
to catherine yronwode

Dear Catherine,

I do not know this man but if what your friend describes really
happened, it is totally inappropriate. It is at least sexual harrassment
and probably sexual molestation. This man is taking advantage of a young
white woman's gullability. This kind of "healing" is not the Indian way,
it is only the way of a pervert. I am especially saddened that this
occurred within a sweat in preparation for the Sun Dance. Not only was
the innocence of a young woman jeopardized but the strength of prayers
within the sweat and Sun Dance were sapped. His actions desicrated a
sacred religious ceremony, hurting all dancers. Obviously, he has no
respect for our ceremonies, our people, or himself. I am sorry this
happened to you and would advise you to be wary of anyone who conducts
ceremonies for money/"gifts" for white people... they do not have a good
heart.

Spear Woman
Blackfeet

REDDOG

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Feb 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/5/98
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> I felt uncomfortable with you touching my body in the sweat
> lodge. You had your hand on my thigh and calf, squeezing and feeling
> them. You reached for my hand, licked it, and held it through most of
> the ceremony. I held your hand and prayed for clarity about what was
> happening and for the courage to communicate my feelings.
>
> After the lodge i asked you, "Why were you putting your hands on
> my neck and back?" I felt uncomfortable in the dark of the sweat lodge.
> [I couldn;t come to verbalize about my thighs and calves and your tongue
> on my hand.] You told me then that you'd been given the gift to heal
> through your hands...you'd received this gift on a vision quest. Then
> you went on to say, "I take energy from the younger people because they
> can replenish it faster." I said, "I feel there is no need to deplete
> anyone's energy, if we are connected to Creator. The Creator I believe
> in is infinite. You said, "When I look at you it makes me feel good."

What you dsscribed is why......I don't sweat with Strangers. I tell my
female friends not to sweat with people they hardly know.......friends and
family....
Theres just some crazy ass peole out there.......who knows what they wll
do???physically or spiritually.

Adam Young

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Feb 5, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/5/98
to

REDDOG wrote:
>
> > I felt uncomfortable with you touching my body in the sweat
> > lodge. You had your hand on my thigh and calf, squeezing and feeling
> > them. You reached for my hand, licked it, and held it through most of
> > the ceremony. I held your hand and prayed for clarity about what was
> > happening and for the courage to communicate my feelings.
> >
> > After the lodge i asked you, "Why were you putting your hands on
> > my neck and back?" I felt uncomfortable in the dark of the sweat lodge.
> > [I couldn;t come to verbalize about my thighs and calves and your tongue
> > on my hand.] You told me then that you'd been given the gift to heal
> > through your hands...you'd received this gift on a vision quest. Then
> > you went on to say, "I take energy from the younger people because they
> > can replenish it faster." I said, "I feel there is no need to deplete
> > anyone's energy, if we are connected to Creator. The Creator I believe
> > in is infinite. You said, "When I look at you it makes me feel good."
>
> What you dsscribed is why......I don't sweat with Strangers. I tell my
> female friends not to sweat with people they hardly know.......friends and
> family....
> Theres just some crazy ass peole out there.......who knows what they wll
> do???physically or spiritually.
Sounds like Wallace Black Elk.

David Yohn

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Feb 8, 1998, 3:00:00 AM2/8/98
to catherine yronwode

Sorry to say this, but it happens a lot. Especially in mixed sweats
with non-Indians. I know of at least two others who have, over the
years, done the same thing. The people who would desecrate the lodge in
this fashion are charlatans or plastics and have no business conducting
ceremony.

The Lakota elder who conducts the sweats I attend has taught me that
Lakota sweat is never mixed (men and women together.) So ask this "Red
Buffalo" who his teachers are, who his wicaca wakan is, and who his
family is.

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