APTN Investigates: Plastic Shamans

Number 26461
Subject Health
Source APTN
State
Year 2013
Publication Date November 8, 2013
Summary Are there bizarre cults operating among the people of Haida Gwaii? This region is among the most beautiful in Canada. It is home to one of the most powerful and progressive First Nations in Canada. And yet the community is divided by the presence of outside "healers" who claim they are helping the people heal from the legacies of colonialism and residential school. But others claim, the healers are fraudsters. Laura Duthiel is among those who says she has been involved in not just one but two separate and distinct groups. There is Earth Peoples United, lead by leader Erik Gonzalez - a man who claims to be a Mayan healer. But Duthiel says he uses drugs and peer pressure to keep her under his control. The other is a group called Psychology of Vision, offering a so-called spiritual health model created by a couple from Hawaii. Duthiel says their controversial techniques don't work As a result of speaking out and sounding the alarm, she says she's been shunned by many members of her community Because some of the groups' supporters say they are genuinely helping people. But Duthiel also has defenders, band members who say the groups are doing more harm than good; that they are nothing more than plastic healers.
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