Radio Interview with Morgan

– See also main article about Marlo Morgan –

Marlo Morgan was interviewed in 1994 on KUNM 89.9 FM New Mexico.

Morgan’s answers are often curious and contradictory. The interviewer, Catalina Reyes, asks Morgan whether her story is fiction or real, and Morgan insists that everything in the book actually happened. Strikingly, Morgan doesn’t even seem to know what kind of health work she did in Australia.

Reyes adds a note to the transcript giving her personal impression of Morgan. She feels that Morgan may have “experienced something traumatic and made up a story about being elected messenger by aboriginals as a way of dealing with it. As time has gone by she’s elaborated ever further on it rather than getting psychiatric help, since it’s been her fortune to hook up with New Agers willing to pay her lots of money to do so.”

(Catalina Reyes’ questions are in bold.)

Author Interview: Marlo Morgan, “Mutant Message Down Under”
Wed. 28 Sept. 1994, “The KUNM Evening Report”
TIME: 5:28

Your book is called “Mutant Message Down Under.” Why is it called that?

Because the tribal people believe that they are real. And when they described me, the translator actually used that word. He said, “You are someone who is no longer like First People. You don’t think in oneness, you think in separateness. You’ve changed, you’ve – you’ve mutated.”

Okay. Why don’t you go ahead and tell us what the book is about, what it tells us?

Marlo Morgan: The book is about my moving to Australia in the health care profession —

When you say “health care,” what kind of work were you doing?

Anything. Well, the health care in general.

I mean, you say that you were a health care professional, I was wondering what kind of health care professional?

Right. I went over there actually doing microscopic work. But my degree, my license — I live in Missouri, and my license to practice in Missouri is chiropractic license, and acupuncture license. And while I was over there, I was observant of some young aboriginal people who were — I felt they were discriminated against. We started a company, and as a result of this company, I received a call saying they were having a meeting for me. And Iassumed it was some kind of award meeting, like Community Chest or United Way.

You said the call was from aboriginals who were having a meeting from you?

Right. And what I didn’t understand was, of course, that indigenous people’s idea of giving you an award is entirely different than yours and mine.

Now, you talk about being, essentially, shanghaied and taken on a three month walk through the desert with no clothing, no articles, nothing.

Right. I had a rag tied around me. But I had no underwear, or shoes, or suntan lotion or any of these things. But neither do these people of course. And you could not really understand them if you went in there with your watch on, and your camcorder and all that kind of stuff. They simply wanted me to be given an opportunity to understand what our relationship is to the earth, and to our fellow man. And that’s really what the book is all about.

In the book you say that they decided to leave the planet, they’re not gonna procreate any more, and that they picked you to be their, sort of emissary in some way.

Well, you read that into it. It doesn’t say that in there. [Note added by interviewer: As a matter of fact, it does. Morgan “quotes” the Real People as saying they have “selected” her to be their messenger.]

What it says is that they’re elderly people, they’re beyond childbearing age. [Note added by interviewer: This also conflicts with text in the book, which mentions people of all ages and specifically mentions the presence of at least one male teenager. Further, if this claim that they all were past childbearing age were true, this would mean the entire group of 62 aboriginals on this walkabout were over approximately age 45 (if female). One wonders what she considers “past childbearing age” for males.]

These people are the last of this nation of people. There’s lots of aboriginal people in Australia. This is just the last of this group. And they’re responsible people, they’ve never just had sex and had a baby. They have always planned their children. And because there virtually is not going to be anything to eat over there — the sun is so horrendous, the radiation is so high, the skin cancer rate is so high, and when that happens it gets so hot snakes can’t live. Plants can’t live. And that’s what these people live on.

HarperCollins is publishing this book as fiction, and two years ago Stillpoint Publishing of Walpole, New Hampshire decided not to publish the book because they couldn’t verify anything that was in it, or your medical credentials in terms of biochemistry and oriental medicine. So just to, kind of, cut to the chase — this has been debated quite a bit in print — let’s tell our listeners a straight answer: do you stand by this book as fact, or did you make most of it up?

None of it is made up. The reason that it’s called fiction is not because it’s embellished. It’s called fiction
because I will not reveal, for instance, where the sacred site is. And Stillpoint didn’t turn this down because they couldn’t verify it; they turned it down because they decided to print the woman who owns Stillpoint, her own book. But the end of this book, you’ll notice, has a letter from a tribal elder that is sanctioning this book, and quite frankly I don’t care —

— But aboriginals are not homogeneous, correct? I mean, just because this individual who’s – Burnam Burnam*, who’s been associated with a number of new age ventures in Australia does make this claim – Australians have borne witness to him not being any kind of representative for aboriginals in general.

Well, I don’t — I don’t know that to be a fact at all. That’s your fact. But I have had no complaints from aboriginals at all, period. The only people who have criticized this have all been white-complected people.

Well, let me ask you this. There’s a quote from a Koori activist, Bobby McLeod, who is aboriginal — and this is quoting him, he says: the book is filled with “fantasies, misinformation, and distortion….Once again, the colonialist mentality feels free, for its own purposes and profit, to exploit and disfigure the aboriginal world, first in the physical and then on the printed page.” So what, you know —

Why wouldn’t he contact me? That’s the reason I’m going back to Australia in December, to be on a panel with aboriginal people to face these people that – the white people – who believe that I’m a racist. And to try and solve all of this thing.

Catalina Reyes
KUNM 89.9 FM, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
Author Interview: Marlo Morgan, “Mutant Message Down Under”
Wed. 28 Sept. 1994, “The KUNM Evening Report”
TIME: 5:28

* Burnum Burnum retracted his support for Marlo Morgan  in 1996.

One Comment on “Radio Interview with Morgan”

  1. […] below is a demonstration of her skills in this regard. (She seems to come a bit unstuck in a different interview, where the interviewer doubts her and questions her unexpectedly on a few details. She is floored, […]

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