Links – Books & Articles

– See also main article about Marlo Morgan –

Recommended reading:

As well as the articles by Chris Sitka, Cath Ellis, and Loraine Mafi Williams reposted on this site, the following are also  valuable.

Daughters of the Dreaming by Diane Bell – fascinating book by an anthropologist who who lived in an Aboriginal community in Central Australia. Although it’s an anthropological work it is also a lively and personal account of what life is really like for a white woman learning to live in and understand an Aboriginal community. If you use amazon’s “search inside” function and read the first page you have already learned very much more about Aboriginal culture than if you read Morgan’s entire book. I’m not kidding!

Two excellent articles have recently appeared on Wikipedia. UPDATE: NO THEY HAVEN’T – THEY’VE BOTH BEEN REMOVED.
The main article reveals what Morgan was REALLY doing while she was in Australia – doing unpaid work in a pharmacy in Brisbane. On returning to the US she started selling ti-tree oil and spun a story about how the Aborigines used it for healing. The company told her to stop making wild claims. A publisher told her to keep making them. The whole story is well documented here.
The second article tries to correct some of the main factual errors and lies.

Check this site for a useful collection of articles concerning the book. The site is actually about photography and nature in Canada, but the site owner was so appalled by Morgan’s book that he devoted space to trying to repair some of the damage it has done – a very heartfelt response.

Dumbartung Reports – Nyoongar Elder Robert Eggington’s reports about the campaign against Mutant Message are collected here. Includes reports about his travels in the desert.
This report is on the campaign in the US, explaining how this small group of (o Hollywood) unknown aborigines managed to convince Hollywood not to make what surely would have been a block-buster.

Here is the report on the group confronting Morgan in Japan.

Article by Diane Bell….the beliefs and practices of Australian Aborigines have been put through a cultural blender….Morgan’s “native teachers” are shrouded in mystery while telling us that [she] holds the keys to true and authentic ways of knowing….

Other interesting links:

An American writer who reviewed Mutant Message and later met Morgan recalls her slow realisation that something strange was going on. At first, knowing that Morgan had falsified her educational credentials, I wondered at her reason for doing so; I still believed the essential truth of her story. But now, with the accumulated experience and wisdom of an additional eleven years and having worn thin my naive assumption of the scrupulous honesty of everyone who claims its virtue, I have read the account with fresh eyes….

Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy movement grapples with Morgan’s message – displays the racist under-current of Morgan’s message very clearly. Some fans of Rudolf Steiner’s unfortunate racial ideas took Morgan’s book as proof that it is destiny for some races to “expire”: He said: “Toos, you need not worry about the indigenous people. Read the book Mutant Message Down Under. It shows that the Aborigines are choosing their own extinction.” Other anthroposophists point out the stupidity and odiousness of this view. Morgan is discussed towards the end of the article.

Account of a lecture by Morgan in 1993 – The title “Message from the Aboriginals” demonstrates Morgan’s cultural identity theft. – [The tribe wanted] her to tell the world that…the Earth is dying. They have decided not to have any more children because soon there will be no more food….They don’t fear death and have few attachments. So she has been touring to bring their message, usually at Unity Churches if her schedule here in Oregon is typical. I got vivid pictures of these people, and a profound sense of peace, despite the message – but, then, the message wasn’t exactly news.

Wisdom of the Elders Conference 2004 – Lists Morgan as a Special Guest Speaker, her subject; “The Ancient Teachings of the Australian Aboriginals. I contacted them, but they didn’t want to answer any of my questions.

“New Age” review – tries to be balanced: While the case for Morgan is not as weak as her critics contend, it is also not bulletproof…[but]…if it is merely a work of fiction then at least it provides us with an inspiring story, and a great deal of fodder for some deep philosophical thinking. A demonstration of how far New Agers are prepared to bend over backwards to avoid admitting they’ve been conned by a mentally unstable, delusional, ignorant, racist individual. It’s an ugly mirror to look into.

Morgan’s own site – After a long absence from the internet, Ms Morgan has finally put up her own webpage explaining what she learned from the Australian desert. For more than a decade she must have been the most famous person WITHOUT their own website. Well here it is folks, everything her fans have been waiting for. I’ve put it last because it’s completely irrelevant to the topic. (In fact, it’s irrelevant to just about every other topic too).

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