Hopi and Pseudo Hopi Prophecies

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Hopi Indians live in one of the most remote regions in the world, the desert in the southwestern United States. Understanding Hopi culture, and Hopi spiritual beliefs in particular, is extremely difficult. The Hopi have survived as a distinct culture for thousands of years by withdrawing from outsiders to avoid conflict. Part of this includes keeping Hopi spiritual traditions as secret as possible from non-Hopi. Hopi practices are so secretive that its members are today legally barred from discussing their religion without express permission from the tribal council. Outsiders are barred from Hopi ceremonies and religious sites, and meddling of any kind in Hopi affairs by non-Hopi is explicitly barred[1]. In 1997, a meeting by the Hopi religious priesthoods decided to restrict access to Hopi villages. The meeting condemned “new-age interpretation and appropriation of Hopi religious practices [and]…self appointed leaders and spokespersons.”[2] Thus any outsider claiming to represent the Hopi, or claiming to be teaching Hopi traditions or expounding on Hopi prophecy is either engaged in deception or fraud, or deluded. Several outsiders claiming to be Hopi spokesmen actually suffer from mental illness.

The central reason for Hopi secrecy is the frequent lies, distortions, and abuse of their spiritual traditions. Their isolation and semi-pacifism (most Hopi will only fight if directly attacked) leads many outsiders to deeply romanticize and exoticize Hopi tradition, projecting their fantasies of a purer and better world upon them. Spiritual exploiters and imposters have frequently taken advantage of the longings of such seekers, seeking to build cults, influence, and power, and gain money or sexually abuse their followings.

The Hopi Nation issued a warning in 2002 entitled, “Cultural Theft and Misrepresentation”: "Over the years many individuals, both Hopi and non-Hopi, have purposely distorted and exploited Hopi spirituality and the Hopi way of life to suit their own ends. The reasons for this misrepresentation vary as much as the people who engage in it. The most common motives, however, are notoriety, profit, or political manipulation. Irrespective of the intent, it all results in an unwanted intrusion by outsiders on the Hopi way of life.

Many, and perhaps most, Hopi people believe that religion is a private matter and that there is already too much information available to non-Hopis about Hopi spirituality. A great deal of knowledge that may have been shared with guests as a courtesy or as privileged information, even in moments of undeserved trust, has been published. These published accounts, be they accurate or misleading, have been misused to replicate Hopi ceremonies and spirituality for profit. In many cases, information has been altered in a way that ignores any spiritual context and religious significance.

Beware of any individual or organization using the Hopi name to promote spiritual workshops, seminars or other "religious" activities. It is not a Hopi cultural value to try and convert non-Hopi people to Hopi religious beliefs or ways. And, sharing religious knowledge for profit is unacceptable to most Hopi people.

Hopi religion is so complex that it is impossible for any one Hopi, traditional group or political faction within Hopi, to know it entirely. Hopi culture and religion as a whole is multifaceted, but there are also variations from village to village, and much of the Hopi ceremonial cycle is secret even among the Hopi. Specific clans and societies are responsible for different aspects of the ceremonial cycle, which in its entirety, make a complementary whole.

Beware, then, of any one person professing to be a traditional spokesperson for the Hopi or even a "traditional’ Hopi. No one person can possibly speak for all Hopi people. Some who profess to do so do not practice the beliefs of Hopi religion or participate in its priesthoods.

The following list includes non-Hopi individuals who are known to profit from Hopi spirituality and culture. Contrary to their claims, none of these individuals are Hopi (either through birth or adoption), represent the Hopi, or speak for any Hopi "elders." We urge you not to donate any money to their causes, purchase their literature, or attend their gatherings."[3]

The Hopi Nation warnings went on to specifically warn about the following people falsely claiming to know or teach Hopi prophecy:

  • Katherine Cheshire AKA Dep See Mana or Dee See Mana and Touch the Earth Foundation. The warning condemned her for programs and workshops on Native spirituality.
  • Warren Goodman. The warning condemned him for falsely claiming to be Pahana of Hopi legend, falsely claiming possession of sacred stone tablets that are part of Hopi oral tradition, for selling "Armageddon Insurance," and for falsely claiming petrified wood to be medicine wheels, which are not even part of Hopi tradition.
  • Thomas Mails, a Catholic priest and the author of The Hopi Survival Kit and other works. The warning condemned Mails for falsely claiming the late Dan Evehema to be a Hopi elder. Evehema did not have any authority to speak on behalf of the Hopi. The warning also condemned Mails for depicting Hopi traditions out of context, incompletely, and inaccurately. The Hopi Nation appealed to Mails to stop. Mails refused the requests.
  • Roy Steevensz AKA Roy Little Sun, who is Indonesian but impersonates being a Hopi elder. Steevensz was permanently banned from the Hopi Reservation in 1995 after using the names of Hopi elders in a fraudulent charity. His ex-wife described him as suffering from mental illness worsened by drug abuse.
  • Christopher Walker, who falsely claims to have permission from the Hopi to perform ceremonies, many of which are not even Hopi such as Sundances and sweatlodges.
  • The late Craig Carpenter was a man of mixed Mohawk and white ancestry claiming to be a Hopi messenger. Condemned by the Hopi tribal council, Carpenter spoke frequently in Europe. A friend, Gary Morris, described Carpenter as suffering greatly from mental illness until his death in 2006.[4]
  • Robert Stoup AKA Limping Snow Wolf variously claims to be Lenape or Seneca, and poses as a keeper of Hopi prophecy. The Hopi Nation issued a cease and desist order to him, but Stoup continues his impersonation.[5]
  • John Kimney, a white man who calls himself Eesawu, was formally asked by the Hopi Nation to quit posing as a keeper of Hopi prophecy. The tribal preservation office was especially angered by Kimney making money off his claims about prophecy. Kimney at first agreed to stop, then reneged on his promise.[6]
  • Robert Morning Sky claims to be Hopi and Apache. He first came to public attention because of the so called Hopi Blue Star Prophecies. But Morning Sky himself admits that he invented the Blue Star Prophecies and they are not part of actual Hopi tradition or prophecy. An article titled, "The Blue Star Hoax" that appeared in LEADING EDGE #95, included this passage. *“Among other things, Morning Sky, a Hopi, claimed that the fabled ‘Blue Star’ does not exist in Hopi legends, teachings or mythology. It was a term that he invented in the early 1970s that has since been pirated by researchers who falsely claimed to have spent time with Hopi Elders learning the secrets of the Blue Star Kachina (a kachina that Morning Sky says doesn't exist), and channelers, psychics and clairvoyants who claim to have received Blue Star revelations from their spiritual sources.” Yet a number of people still push the Blue Star Prophecies as authentic.[7]
  • Among them is Miriam Delicado, who also is a major figure in UFO circles. In addition to relying on the false Blue Star Prophecy, she also claims to speak on behalf of Martin Gashweseoma. Gashwesoma is not an authority among the Hopi and was specifically condemned by actual Hopi priests. Delicado was specifically asked by the Hopi tribal council to stop her misrepresentation of both Gashwesoma’s status and Hopi prophecy. She refuses.[8]

There is a single genuine example of Hopi prophecy which Hopi elders wished to share with the world, and chose to do so using their own spokesmen. Thomas Banyacya was a Hopi conscientious objector in World War II. He refused to serve in the US Army and was imprisoned along with Amish, Mennonites, Quakers, and other religious pacifists. When the US dropped atomic bombs on Japan, Hopi elders saw in this the fulfillment of Hopi prophecy about a “gourd of ashes” that would spread poison from the air, with the potential to destroy the world. Hopi prophecies also spoke of a “building of mica on the eastern shore.” Hopi elders believed this prophecy foretold the then-new United Nations building. Banyacya was appointed their tribal spokesman and sent to warn the outside world of the dangers of nuclear weapons and work for peace. Lobbying tirelessly and speaking for nearly forty years against war, materialism, and environmental destruction, in 1992 Banyacya finally spoke at the United Nations Assembly. Speaking in the traditional way, without notes and spontaneously, Banyacya described the prophecy and called for world peace, also carrying out a Hopi blessing with corn pollen in the General Assembly. His mission accomplished, the Hopi Nation maintains the only prophecy to be shared with the world was a success in averting disaster for mankind. Hopi Nation spokesmen strongly deny there are any further prophecies to be shared with outsiders.[9]

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  1. “Visitor Guidelines,” http://web.archive.org/web/20030221150743/www.infomagic.net/~hoatvela/visitors.html, accessed 8-18-10
  2. Issues- Press Releases from Hotevilla Priesthood Assembly,” http://web.archive.org/web/20030221145415/www.infomagic.net/~hoatvela/issues.html, accessed 8-18-10
  3. Hopi Nation, Cultural Theft and Misrepresentation,” http://web.archive.org/web/20040404070957/http://www.hopi.nsn.us/Pages/Culture/misrep.html, accessed 8-18-10
  4. “The Late Craig Carpenter,” http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=288.0, accessed 8-18-10
  5. “Limping Snow Wolf,” http://www.newagefraud.org/smf/index.php?topic=1362.0, accessed 8-18-10
  6. “Hopis Mum on Prophecies,” http://www.gallupindependent.com/1999-2001/11-06-00.html
  7. NHNE News Brief,” http://www.nhne.com/newsbriefs/nhnenb42.html, accessed 8-18-10
  8. “Issues.” “The Dream Masters,” http://www.thedreammasters.org/hopi/martingashweseoma.php, accessed 8-18-10
  9. Robert Thomas Jr., “Thomas Banyacya, Teller of Hopi Prophecy to World,” http://www.nytimes.com/1999/02/15/us/thomas-banyacya-89-teller-of-hopi-prophecy-to-world.html, accessed 8-19-10. “Hopis Mum on Prophecies.”