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Self-destructive pathology vs. personal transformation

Fan Mail

Diamond in the rough: Thanks for the good piece about our champion Arizona Diamondbacks ("Pitcher Perfect," Paul Rubin, June 20). It was a story back in 1999 about Buck Showalter that turned me on to "the free paper with all the advertising." I appreciate the occasional sports piece. As long as it has nothing to do with stadiums. Keep up the good work.

Jose Camacho
Phoenix

Sex in Scottsdale

Get off it: Jeez. What a waste of paper. The article on Harley Reagan: B-O-R-I-N-G ("Sacred Orgasm," Susy Buchanan, June 13). No one cares! Boring old fart. Unbelievable that you actually have this "non-subject" on the cover, even. Surely there are more interesting people to write about in this sixth largest city in the U.S.A.

Maybe in the summer all the interesting people leave Phoenix? Come on, New Times, run a bio on Sheriff Joe, a heroin addict, or the Peoria teacher who stood up to the lawyer.

Any of the above would be more interesting, I'd think, to those of us who read New Times than this absolutely unredeemable old sex addict.

Sue Gunn
Phoenix

Spiritual misguidance: My compliments to Susy Buchanan for her excellent exposé, helping to let the general public know what Indian Country has known for decades, that Harley Reagan, a.k.a. the pseudo-Cherokee "Swifthorse," a.k.a. the pseudo-Mayan "Thunder Strikes," is a racist, an exploiter, an all-around sleaze and a wacko, and the world's worst liar since Carlos Castaneda. I was misidentified as an AIM member, though, when I actually am just fortunate enough to work with many fine AIM members who give so selflessly of themselves to defend their communities.

Harley is so obviously his own worst enemy, a nut job with a lifelong self-destructive pathology and a gift for putting whole shoestores in his mouth at once. That anyone would fall into the trap of worshiping this bloated and cowardly monster is beyond belief, and makes Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's followers look like models of clear thinking by comparison. Keep on talking, Harley, you just give us more rope to hang you with in the ongoing investigations of you and your corrupt criminal enterprises in Scottsdale and Florence, Italy, for fraud. You and the sad sacks who are so naive to fall for you are the punch line to a bad joke. How else can one regard someone who makes the laughably ignorant claim to have invented a martial arts system, and then is such a transparent coward that he hides behind a gun to defend himself from oh-so-fearsome demonstrators armed with oh-so-deadly fliers?

I invite the public to join us in shutting down Harley's joke of a "dojo" by protesting this racist fraud every week until he packs up and leaves the Phoenix area, or is in prison where he deserves to be, along with his fellow frauds Ines Gregory, Jamie Charles and "Mukee Okan." Every person of good conscience should also take time out to call and encourage the Scottsdale police to push forward its investigations so that this sputtering Harley can quit giving Scottsdale a bad name.

Al Carroll
Via e-mail

Culture cash: I am an American Indian veteran (a real one) with a college education (a real one) who also thinks that this "Swiftdeer" character is nothing short of a sham shaman.

I was part of the protest that AIM held in the 1990s when Mr. "Harley Swiftdeer" (a.k.a. Claude Raper) was doing his "Sacred Sex Workshops" in Scottsdale, and pimping his misdeeds in an aura of Native American mysticism. I was truly against him cloaking his selfish actions in elements of our culture. I spent most of a couple of weekends singing with the drum outside his office. I read the interview he gave that week, in which he spent much of the time talking about how he could harm, injure or kill others. He also went on about his illustrious military career, education, and other such drivel. His whole life story, it seems, is naught but a fabrication.

He's apparently still at it.

However, it is his right to do so, and today, that's fine by me. He really can't do harm to our Indian culture, because Native culture is much stronger and longer enduring than a usurping charlatan like "Swiftdeer."

Unfortunately, he's not concerned enough about his "Cherokee" people to establish an education fund or some such endeavor with his financial windfall. So much for "Swiftdeer's" Native values that do not include service to one's "claimed" people. I guess to some non-Indians, Native American culture does have a certain cash value.

Mr. "Swiftdeer" is what we in behavioral health call a pathological liar, and he seems to be unable to moderate this attribute. A real spiritual leader does not need to challenge, demean or threaten others. A real spiritual leader does not need to verbally abuse others in order to buttress his position. A real spiritual leader has no need for self-aggrandizement. We recognize our spiritual leaders by the humble and simple life they lead. Mr. "Swiftdeer" shows no evidence of either humility or simplicity. His libido, his emotions and his mouth rule him.  

It doesn't look like he's changed much. He's only become more entrenched in his blatant shenanigans. In my opinion, those empty and lost souls needing a purported spiritual leader for guidance, a leader who does not even have mastery over his emotions, drives or racist attitude, will get what they pay for. They will get "fleeced," and eventually end up even emptier than before.

Paul Rock
Tempe

I don't love Lucy: "Lucy's Tale" would not have made as catchy a headline as "Sacred Orgasm," but it might have been more accurate. Her descriptions of a Quodoushka workshop are just as you describe Harley Swiftdeer Reagan's life story: "a dubious blend of fact, exaggeration and lies."

She wouldn't give her real name, but I'll give you mine and I'll speak the truth. I have been to a Quodoushka workshop and my heterosexual monogamous commitment was absolutely respected by teachers and participants alike. A Chakra cleansing does not involve vaginal insertion of a finger. Never has, never will. And using words like "grabbing" and "coaxing" convey an atmosphere of sex-crazed people, crudeness and disrespect.

You really missed the boat here. If you had bothered to look into the Red Lodge Longhouse Program, which I have also participated in, you would have found a rigorous discipline of personal transformation into individual autonomous freedom through the study of spiritual teachings and ceremony. Of course, that probably would not have been as interesting to your readers as "Lucy's Tale."

Daniel Sumberg
Phoenix

Bawdy bashing: I find your information regarding the Quodoushka trainings to be very biased and written based on one individual's account of a program's content. An even deeper concern is that you have written about a person's account who did not even complete the course.

Having personally participated in many "Q" trainings in a number of locations around the United States, my experience is that the content and delivery of the content has been contrary to the description you portray in your article. None of the exercises have anything to do with penetration of any body part other than a willingness to penetrate your own social, cultural or religious belief structures and to pursue life's possibilities beyond the box society has placed us in. Having participated in transformational work for many years, I am aware that stepping into anything new in life requires pushing the edge of our comfort zones. Often we choose not to push the edge and choose to remain in our mediocrity. This is an individual choice, but often people choose to make another person or program wrong rather than accept their own fear or discomfort.

I am enraged and disappointed that New Times would print such an inaccurate account of a program that has been delivered in a professional and appropriate manner, touched and altered people's self-awareness of sexuality to enrich their lives for many years, without really doing your homework. A writer or paper interested in delivering the truth would have researched and interviewed a group of previous participants before publishing a story the unknowing will presume as true.

If your intent in being a writer is to do the least amount of research and creating as much shock factor and irresponsible damage as possible, you have reached your pinnacle of success. Maybe you should write for the National Enquirer or consider changing your path to one that contributes to people's pursuit of pleasure and knowledge rather than bashing and demeaning them because of your lack of understanding.

Danny Wood
Via e-mail

Juicy Lucy: Susy Buchanan's article seemed to have totally missed the point of the Quodoushka teachings. Sexuality is a hard thing to come to terms with for some people. Obviously, "Lucy" was one of those people. While I do not deny Buchanan's right to judge Harley Reagan or his teachings, I do think the sexuality workshops are so subjective that one person's feeling about them will vary widely from another's.

I have attended two separate Quodoushka workshops and, yes, there is a lot of sexuality present — that is what a workshop on sexuality is about. It is a challenge that will make some people stronger lovers while leaving others to scratch their heads trying to figure out what the heck just happened. Some will go home with nothing more than stories to tell their friends, while others will go out into the world and take what they have learned to their future lovers (who will be better for it). "Lucy" blew out and did not know how to come back from that place. It is too bad for your story that she was the only person with a story that seemed juicy enough to publish. Now, I could tell you stories. But I, too, have signed a non-disclosure agreement.  

Sean Karlin
Venice, California

Striking Back

Home run hitter: Just finished reading Robert Nelson's excellent column "Strike Out" (June 13), and it is easy to see why New Times' staffers do so well each year at the press awards.

When the Diamondbacks were about to come into existence, there was an entry blank in the Arizona Republic to be submitted for those who wished to have their names drawn, thereby being eligible for season tickets.

My name was drawn, after which the baseball strike loomed as it is looming now. This prompted me to write to the president of the Diamondbacks organization and ask: "If there is a strike and substitute players are used to play the game, will I be entitled to a refund for every game not played by the regular players who will be on strike?" The reply I received was that a guarantee as such could not be granted but it would be a shame to speculate on something that might not happen (the strike).

I tore up the notice I received saying my name had been drawn in the "lottery" as well as the reply I received to my letter and I have not attended nor will I ever again attend a game. Definition: Greed — "Acquisitive desire beyond reason." Certainly an apt description of both players and owners.

John Parker
Phoenix

Don't take me out to the ball game: Perhaps I don't get it. I understand and fully agree with the reasons and the need for the boycott of the baseball game July 4. But why would we buy a ticket to tear it up? If we are going to do it right and strike a financial blow, then not one ticket outside of the season tickets and box seats that are already paid for should be sold.

And while we're talking sports, will some city or state or country please give the Cardinals an offer they can't refuse so we can be rid of this sorry excuse for an NFL team and end this ridiculous stadium fiasco for good?

Name withheld by request


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