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> Cultural Thieft, what is it and can it exist
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Shadows 
Posted: 25-Nov-2005, 12:38 PM
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I have seen some posts on other boards referencing "cultural thieft"...

what is it and can it really exist if we are all the same human beings?



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stoirmeil 
Posted: 26-Nov-2005, 05:01 PM
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Since you're in this forum, I'm assuming this has to do with "cultural theft" of some aspect of spiritual practice? (If I'm wrong, please pardon me. . . ) I have seen it said before (in another spiritual context -- one of the monotheisms) that newcomers who have not grown up in the whole context of a belief, can sometimes practice a kind of "smorgasbord" version of it in which they pick and choose features and rituals that appeal to them with no real rhyme or reason to the choices, while having no particular desire to work at greater understanding or coherence of the symbolic system as a deeper whole. There also seems to be some concern, among more serious practitioners, about the appearance this creates or the impression it makes on the world at large.

When you say "we are all the same human beings," are you saying we all have a right to explore each others' cultural paths to the spiritual life? I would have a hard time disagreeing with that, but I would also say that with the right comes the responsibility to treat traditions with respect and not approach them superficially only for the features that take our fancy.
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Swanny 
Posted: 27-Nov-2005, 06:03 AM
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Many Native American "traditionalists" are very much concerned about allegedly "Native" ceremonies being 'adopted' by non-Indian people in a manner that is way outside the context of the Native culture in which they originated. Of even greater concern is the "bastardization" of tribal beliefs and/or ceremonies, changing those beliefs or ceremonies in ways that are not consistent with the culture, or 'morphing' these ceremonies and beliefs with those of other cultures (i.e. New-Age belief systems).

An Absaroka gentleman of my acquaintance explained his position thusly: "First the Whites came and stole away our furs, then our buffalo. Then they stole away our children, took away our language, and now they want to steal our religion."

Actually, some not-so-tradionalists are also very much concerned that the practice leads to continued stereotyping of Native Americans, NA lifestyles and NA beliefs.

Here is an article by Terri Jean, first published in about 2000, that explains one perspective of the issue: Cultural Theft - When Honoring or Borrowing One's Cultural Identity Turns into Thievery

Two tribes that are especially affected by the issue are the Cherokee (everybody's great grandmother was a Cherokee Princess) and the collective tribes of the Sioux Nation (Lakota, Dakota and Nakota). In 1993 the latter drafted a formal declaration of war against exploiters of Lakota spirituality, which can be referenced at http://www.aics.org/war.html

Does cultural theft occur? When a person with no Indian blood whatsoever and who has never in his/her life been intimately involved in a specific tribal culture takes a half-baked notion of an "authentic Indian ceremony" and sells it to others in the form of a book, or "for hire" ceremonies I believe it definately is a theft.

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John Clements 
Posted: 20-Dec-2007, 04:27 PM
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You know, when I was a youngster. I actually considered becoming a “Roman Catholic Priest”. But then I grew up, when I learned that the greatest story ever told, is in fact just that, a story. A story which was blatantly plagiarized, (yes can you imagine, plagiarized) from the Egyptian’s, some 3000 years be for Christ.

Now please don’t get me wrong. I’m not just down on Christianity. I happen to think that religion in general, does more harm than good, except for perhaps Paganism, which I believe is based on astrology, and "real" natural events. If you think I’ve gone off, check out the evidence for yourself.

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/


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RebeccaAnn 
Posted: 20-Dec-2007, 05:30 PM
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Our culture and our heritage is being stolen from us. Whenever a people takes over another it seems that they first attack the culture to weaken the people. The English long ago came into Ireland and the wearing of the green, the playing of the harp, or the speaking of the language was forbidden. They did the same in Scotland with the wearing of the kilt and the playing of the pipes. That is until the English got smart and realized the pipes held a strange beast that scared away the enemy. Then they put the pipers in the front as they marched into battle. Some cultures have chosen to mix and joined together the best of both to preserve them both but many others have been lost through the ages. Take away the language, legends, dress, etc. and you can control a people. Take away their music and you take away their hope. Today many of us are of mixed race, especially in America. Many of our ancestors came from the old world but as my grandmother always taught me some where already here to welcome the others. Learn all you can of all your ancestors and their ways and teach your children for this is your culture and your heritage.
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oldraven 
Posted: 20-Dec-2007, 07:33 PM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 26-Nov-2005, 03:01 PM)
When you say "we are all the same human beings," are you saying we all have a right to explore each others' cultural paths to the spiritual life? I would have a hard time disagreeing with that, but I would also say that with the right comes the responsibility to treat traditions with respect and not approach them superficially only for the features that take our fancy.

I just wanted everyone to read that again. smile.gifthumbs_up.gif


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John Clements 
Posted: 15-Jan-2008, 09:32 AM
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Dear Rebecca Ann, and oldraven, your response my post of (20/Dec/2007 at 4:27PM) on the “Cultural Theft” thread is no doubt true. But why don’t we just cut to the chase, and that is: Have either of you, or anyone else out there actually seen the movie “Zeitgeist” yet, and if so? Why hasn’t anyone commented on it? Could it be that all of you are actually afraid of the truth?

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/

Anyway, if you would like to eliminate me, for being the barer of bad news, that’s ok with me. (As long as you do it by crucifixion)! You know what they say. Misery loves company.
JC
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Swanny 
Posted: 16-Jan-2008, 11:02 AM
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Straight up, John. I haven't seen the movie, and can't afford to spend two hours (plus download time) to do so. Can you provide us those of us with busy lives a synopsis so we can judge whether or not it is something we should spend time on?

Heck, I haven't seen a movie or for that matter, spent more than half an hour in front of the TV at one time in the past 3 months.

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stoirmeil 
Posted: 16-Jan-2008, 11:13 AM
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Here's a typical review, and the link:

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/06/jay-k...-reviews-z.html

In three parts, Zeitgeist (which has no credits) attempts to show that 1) Christianity is rehashed pagan sun-worship and is used by the rich and powerful to control people, 2) the 9/11 tragedies were part of an elite conspiracy, and 3) ever since World War I, the ultra-rich have been secretly manufacturing wars and financial collapses to control the populace and to get richer and more powerful.

I don't know enough about politics, history, or religion to have a valid opinion of Zeitgeist, but I was interested in getting a well-informed person's assessment of the documentary. I could think of no one better suited than Jay Kinney. He was the publisher of the late, great Gnosis Magazine, the author of several books on Western esoteric and occult traditions, and the author of The Masonic Enigma, "a journey of discovery into the real facts (and mysteries) of Masonry's history and symbols." He's also an amazingly talented cartoonist, and contributed to The Whole Earth Review which is how I first learned about him. (His 1987 article, "If Software Companies Ran the Country," where he compares Al Capp's Shmoos to infinitely-copyable software, remains as fresh and powerful today as it did 20 years ago).

At my request, Jay watched the movie, and kindly wrote the following review for Boing Boing:

Zeiting the Geist
The latest bit of guerrilla media to take the online universe by storm is “Zeitgeist, the Movie.” Clocking in at close to two hours’ length, and with over a million views on Google Video since its June 26th “official” release, Zeitgeist is a grabby, cranky, can’t-stop-watching-it documentary that purports to tell the real truth about Christianity, 9/11, and the International Bankers.

Exactly who is behind the video is unclear, although someone with the moniker of “Peter J.” has posted an online letter claiming credit and explaining Zeitgeist’s message to those who may have somehow failed to grasp the worldview that the video hammers home.

And what is that worldview, pray tell? Religions in general, and Christianity in particular, are primarily systems of social control. 9/11 was an inside job and the destruction of the WTC twin towers and building 7 were aided by controlled demolition. And finally, International Bankers, through the Federal Reserve and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), control our money and our future, leading to, ta da, the coming One World Government and the microchipping of everyone.

Exactly how all this fits together is left to the viewer’s imagination or, presumably, the film-maker’s hash pipe. Are those who manipulate Christianity for control purposes in cahoots with the Bankers, and were the Bankers in on the 9/11 caper? Zeitgeist sidesteps such logical questions through the use of the all-purpose term, “the elite,” a shadowy group of rich and powerful men who want nothing more than to enslave humanity and reap block-buster profits through the promotion of wars and financial crises.

For conspiracy buffs, this is all pretty standard fare, and, indeed, aficionados of the genre will find little new in “Zeitgeist.” The notions that most religions were originally a kind of solar worship, and that the Jesus Christ story recapitulated the mythos of numerous other “dying gods,” were floating around in the late 1700s. Fittingly, the video features a quote from Thomas Paine reducing Christianity to warmed-over sun worship, which was a daring bit of religion-baiting 200 years ago, albeit not so earth-shattering today.

The nefarious International Bankers meme has been propagating itself since at least the mid-1800s and has long been a mainstay of radical right-wing circles where it has often overlapped with mutterings about Jewish cabals.

The 9/11 truth segment of the video is, of course, of much more recent vintage, but, here too, it mostly repeats accusations that have gotten widespread play in the uber-skeptic milieu.

Breaking new factual ground is not what Zeitgeist is about, however. Rather, the video is a powerful and fast-acting dose of agitprop, hawking its conclusions as givens. Unfortunately, like most propaganda, it doesn’t play fair with its intended audience. At times, while watching it, I felt like I was getting Malcolm McDowell’s treatment in Clockwork Orange: eyes pried wide open while getting bombarded with quick-cut atrocity photos.

At other times, Zeitgeist engages in willful confusion by showing TV screen shots of network or cable news with voice-overs from unidentified people not associated with the news programs. If one weren’t paying close attention, the effect would be to confer the status and authority of TV news upon the words being spoken. Even when quotes or sound bites are attributed to a source, there’s no way to tell if they are quoted correctly or in context.

Late in the video, there’s a supposed quote from David Rockefeller, which, if genuine, would be an astounding confession of complicity in mass manipulation. But, of course, the quote is not sourced or dated, which renders it useless. (The video’s website does feature a Sources page, but a hodge-podge list of books, with no page numbers cited, is of little value for source verification.)

The over-all temper of the video is rather like the John Birch Society on acid, with interludes by Harry Smith. Incongruously, after spending nearly two hours trying to scare the bejeezis out of its viewers, Zeitgeist ends on an oddly upbeat note, telling us that Love — not Fear — is the answer, We are all One, and featuring sound-bites from Ram Dass and Carl Sagan.

It’s a shame, really, that Zeitgeist is, ultimately, such a mess. There are plenty of legitimate questions about what transpired on 9/11, just as there are plenty of shady doings in international finance or puzzling aspects of religious history, for that matter. And what is coming down in the name of National Security is truly unnerving. Yet, bundling them all together in disjointed fashion does justice to none of them. Time and again, Zeitgeist maximizes emotional impact at the expense of a more reasoned weighing of evidence. But, perhaps that’s the intention.

I’ve often pondered about what it might take to snap everyone out of the walking dream we collectively entered on 9/11/01. Just as the fall of the Berlin Wall provided the emotional pivot for the end of the Cold War, only a collective experience of an intensity equal to that of 9/11 might jolt us awake as to what is really happening in the corridors of power and certain undisclosed locations.

It’s my hunch that Zeitgeist is one attempt to provide such a jolt, and it does indeed pack a certain punch. Too bad it also runs off in three directions at once, and is so indiscriminate in its sources and overly certain of its conclusions. Zeitgeist may be powerful, but its power is tainted with some simplistic and pernicious memes that have already received more propagation than they deserve. The video’s producer does inform us that “It is my hope that people will not take what is said in the film as the truth . . .”

Indeed.


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Dogshirt 
Posted: 16-Jan-2008, 09:36 PM
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Sounds like I could spend 2 hours cleaning in my dog yards and get a wheelbarrow of the stuff.


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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-Jan-2008, 11:40 PM
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Ok...so...what the frell does that have to do with cultural theft? Just curious.

I mean, I've got my own views on it, and I know what my clan mothers have taught me, but um...hey, I love a good conspiracy theory.


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John Clements 
Posted: 17-Jan-2008, 12:14 AM
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QUOTE (stoirmeil @ 16-Jan-2008, 11:13 AM)
Here's a typical review, and the link:

http://www.boingboing.net/2007/08/06/jay-k...-reviews-z.html

In three parts, Zeitgeist (which has no credits) attempts to show that 1) Christianity is rehashed pagan sun-worship and is used by the rich and powerful to control people, 2) the 9/11 tragedies were part of an elite conspiracy, and 3) ever since World War I, the ultra-rich have been secretly manufacturing wars and financial collapses to control the populace and to get richer and more powerful.

I don't know enough about politics, history, or religion to have a valid opinion of Zeitgeist, but I was interested in getting a well-informed person's assessment of the documentary. I could think of no one better suited than Jay Kinney. He was the publisher of the late, great Gnosis Magazine, the author of several books on Western esoteric and occult traditions, and the author of The Masonic Enigma, "a journey of discovery into the real facts (and mysteries) of Masonry's history and symbols." He's also an amazingly talented cartoonist, and contributed to The Whole Earth Review which is how I first learned about him. (His 1987 article, "If Software Companies Ran the Country," where he compares Al Capp's Shmoos to infinitely-copyable software, remains as fresh and powerful today as it did 20 years ago).

At my request, Jay watched the movie, and kindly wrote the following review for Boing Boing:

Zeiting the Geist
The latest bit of guerrilla media to take the online universe by storm is “Zeitgeist, the Movie.” Clocking in at close to two hours’ length, and with over a million views on Google Video since its June 26th “official” release, Zeitgeist is a grabby, cranky, can’t-stop-watching-it documentary that purports to tell the real truth about Christianity, 9/11, and the International Bankers.

Exactly who is behind the video is unclear, although someone with the moniker of “Peter J.” has posted an online letter claiming credit and explaining Zeitgeist’s message to those who may have somehow failed to grasp the worldview that the video hammers home.

And what is that worldview, pray tell? Religions in general, and Christianity in particular, are primarily systems of social control. 9/11 was an inside job and the destruction of the WTC twin towers and building 7 were aided by controlled demolition. And finally, International Bankers, through the Federal Reserve and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), control our money and our future, leading to, ta da, the coming One World Government and the microchipping of everyone.

Exactly how all this fits together is left to the viewer’s imagination or, presumably, the film-maker’s hash pipe. Are those who manipulate Christianity for control purposes in cahoots with the Bankers, and were the Bankers in on the 9/11 caper? Zeitgeist sidesteps such logical questions through the use of the all-purpose term, “the elite,” a shadowy group of rich and powerful men who want nothing more than to enslave humanity and reap block-buster profits through the promotion of wars and financial crises.

For conspiracy buffs, this is all pretty standard fare, and, indeed, aficionados of the genre will find little new in “Zeitgeist.” The notions that most religions were originally a kind of solar worship, and that the Jesus Christ story recapitulated the mythos of numerous other “dying gods,” were floating around in the late 1700s. Fittingly, the video features a quote from Thomas Paine reducing Christianity to warmed-over sun worship, which was a daring bit of religion-baiting 200 years ago, albeit not so earth-shattering today.

The nefarious International Bankers meme has been propagating itself since at least the mid-1800s and has long been a mainstay of radical right-wing circles where it has often overlapped with mutterings about Jewish cabals.

The 9/11 truth segment of the video is, of course, of much more recent vintage, but, here too, it mostly repeats accusations that have gotten widespread play in the uber-skeptic milieu.

Breaking new factual ground is not what Zeitgeist is about, however. Rather, the video is a powerful and fast-acting dose of agitprop, hawking its conclusions as givens. Unfortunately, like most propaganda, it doesn’t play fair with its intended audience. At times, while watching it, I felt like I was getting Malcolm McDowell’s treatment in Clockwork Orange: eyes pried wide open while getting bombarded with quick-cut atrocity photos.

At other times, Zeitgeist engages in willful confusion by showing TV screen shots of network or cable news with voice-overs from unidentified people not associated with the news programs. If one weren’t paying close attention, the effect would be to confer the status and authority of TV news upon the words being spoken. Even when quotes or sound bites are attributed to a source, there’s no way to tell if they are quoted correctly or in context.

Late in the video, there’s a supposed quote from David Rockefeller, which, if genuine, would be an astounding confession of complicity in mass manipulation. But, of course, the quote is not sourced or dated, which renders it useless. (The video’s website does feature a Sources page, but a hodge-podge list of books, with no page numbers cited, is of little value for source verification.)

The over-all temper of the video is rather like the John Birch Society on acid, with interludes by Harry Smith. Incongruously, after spending nearly two hours trying to scare the bejeezis out of its viewers, Zeitgeist ends on an oddly upbeat note, telling us that Love — not Fear — is the answer, We are all One, and featuring sound-bites from Ram Dass and Carl Sagan.

It’s a shame, really, that Zeitgeist is, ultimately, such a mess. There are plenty of legitimate questions about what transpired on 9/11, just as there are plenty of shady doings in international finance or puzzling aspects of religious history, for that matter. And what is coming down in the name of National Security is truly unnerving. Yet, bundling them all together in disjointed fashion does justice to none of them. Time and again, Zeitgeist maximizes emotional impact at the expense of a more reasoned weighing of evidence. But, perhaps that’s the intention.

I’ve often pondered about what it might take to snap everyone out of the walking dream we collectively entered on 9/11/01. Just as the fall of the Berlin Wall provided the emotional pivot for the end of the Cold War, only a collective experience of an intensity equal to that of 9/11 might jolt us awake as to what is really happening in the corridors of power and certain undisclosed locations.

It’s my hunch that Zeitgeist is one attempt to provide such a jolt, and it does indeed pack a certain punch. Too bad it also runs off in three directions at once, and is so indiscriminate in its sources and overly certain of its conclusions. Zeitgeist may be powerful, but its power is tainted with some simplistic and pernicious memes that have already received more propagation than they deserve. The video’s producer does inform us that “It is my hope that people will not take what is said in the film as the truth . . .”

Indeed.

Hi Swanny, sorry you’re so busy, and yes stoirmeil posted a commentary about the movie, although I give the commentary just about as much credence as he gave the movie!
Wow stoirmeil, Jay Kinney’s commentary is almost as long as the movie itself, and it sound to me that his main problem with the movie Zeitgeist, is, that it bit off more then he could chew. But that wouldn’t be me, because I can still multi task, even though I'm in my sixty’s.
So let me ask both you, and Dogshirt, (that is if he isn’t to busy picking up after his dog)! Have either of you seen the movie? If not, then you can’t really talk about it can you?

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/
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Dogshirt 
Posted: 17-Jan-2008, 02:06 AM
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Perhaps not, but it IS my time and I choose what to do with it. And wasting it on crap like this is no it!


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thecelticgiraffe 
Posted: 17-Jan-2008, 07:29 AM
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Cultural Theft is really just when someone is a "wannabe" because they admire a particular culture. They try to do things that culture does or wear the styles they wear, etc., even though they are not part of that culture, but simply like it and want to act like they are a part of it.

"Cultural Theft" seems to be used mostly within the context of Native American "wannabes". But it can apply to any cultural "wannabe". Loads of profit are being made by giving into the desires of a lot of "wannabes". Witness the selling of supposed "traditional" Native American products or Irish products, so that those who buy can feel they are part of the culture.

Many people actually get carried away literally trying their best to prove they have certain blood lines which they don't. Any hint that they may have the blood line of a certain culture and right away they are celebrating new holidays, buying traditional clothing, eating the food, etc. as if they grew up in that culture! Luckily this usually fades away and they eventually return to normal (or not).

It is a good thing to enjoy another culture and maybe participate in some of the things they do as an educated observer. This is how you build strong human relations with other cultures and also learn how they think, as well as have fun. But to get carried way into thinking you are one of them and attempting to prove the dream a reality, is trying to steal an identity that you are not.


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John Clements 
Posted: 17-Jan-2008, 09:50 AM
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QUOTE (Dogshirt @ 17-Jan-2008, 02:06 AM)
Perhaps not, but it IS my time and I choose what to do with it. And wasting it on crap like this is no it!


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If you had seen the movie and decided that it was “crap”, (as you put it)!
Then your opinion would expectable, but until you have seen the movie. Your opinion is just that…crap!

http://zeitgeistmovie.com/
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