Richard Thornton | May 9, 2017 | 23
Did rogue federal law enforcement officers orchestrate the “Maya Myth-busting” campaign?
Someone pushed the wrong button in a federal law enforcement officer’s personal computer and almost instantaneously the People of One Fire received the names and personal email addresses of all the people, who were the public talking heads and financiers involved behind the scenes in the “Maya Myth Busting in the Mountains” campaign.
Initially, the 72 names appeared to be the official email distribution list of the people behind “Maya Myth Busting in the Mountains” during 2012. However, further investigation revealed that the owner of the computer was sincerely interested in things Native American and innocently interconnected with the people in that network out of this interest, since it was their names that the media repeatedly quotes.
There was one Native American on the email list and he was definitely not involved with trying to prove that Mesoamericans didn’t come to North America. In fact, he has found several Itza Maya words in his own Choctaw language.
However, when looking at the list, one is immediately struck how thoroughly the descendants of the Southeast’s Muskogean and Uchee Peoples have been locked out of the institutions that officially study our heritage and the news media that reports their orthodoxies.
What do some of Georgia’s most influential archaeologists, some University of Georgia anthropology professors, officers of the Georgia Trail of Tears Association, Eastern Band of Cherokee officials, two Russian “businessmen” in western North Carolina, two major drug dealers with Native American artifact collections, USFS law enforcement officers and a wealthy Atlanta area attorney, who made his millions representing the Dixie Mafia, have in common? They were all on that email distribution list accidentally sent to the People of One Fire. There were no Creeks, Yuchis, Shawnees or Chickasaws, whose tribal labels define the majority of Native American affiliations in the state of Alabama, Georgia and Florida.
Few of the generally anonymous email addresses were from business or institutional computer networks. We would have had no clue, who they were, except their names were inserted in front of the addresses. It is quite interesting what words the archaeologists and USFS bureaucrats used as monikers, when they wanted to be anonymous.
This is a serious problem. People, who are not of Muskogean ancestry are dictating what the public knows about our rich cultural heritage. They control what the museums display. They control what the TV stations and newspapers say. As we saw in 2012, they will say and do anything to maintain this control, apparently viewing Native American culture as their personal political domain. Again as we saw in 2012, they also do not hesitate to make inappropriate use of rogue law enforcement officers in order to maintain their control.
A little history on the matter
From the beginning, public opposition to the publicity about the Track Rock terrace complex consisted of a tiny minority of Georgia and Florida archaeologists writing scathing letters to the Examiner, stating that they knew for a fact that no Mayas ever immigrated to North America. None of these archaeologists had an alternative explanations for the stone ruins and only two had even seen the Track Rock Complex. They certainly never visited an Itza terrace complex in Central America.
I personally have a strong suspicion that the University of Georgia professors involved didn’t even know who the Itza Mayas were. Their letters and public statements reflected a profound ignorance of the cultural diversity of the Mayas. They associated the finely restored ruins of mega-cities that they visited on their summer vacations, with all things Maya. Well, the chief archaeologist at Track Rock Gap admitted that he had never even been in Mexico.
The professors’ letters were shot down by hundreds of letters from Native Americans, who wrote that they knew for a fact that some of their ancestors WERE Mayas.
One mysterious event happened during that period. My December 21, 2011 Examiner article, describing the archaeological zone, had garnered over a million views and 249,000 Facebook likes in four weeks. I got up one morning in early February to discover that all the Facebook likes and the letters written by Dixie archaeologists had been selectively erased by a VERY sophisticated hacker – like someone using military quality surveillance and intervention electronics.
The anti-Maya campaign was kicked off at the March meeting of the Georgia Trail of Tears Association. Georgia archaeologist, Jim Langford, opened up with the articulate statement, “This Mayas thing is a bunch of crap!” There was no indication that Langford had ever actually seen the stone ruins at Track Rock at that time. It is absolutely certain that he has no credentials in Mesoamerican architecture. His speech was posted on the web by the Trail of Tears Association, without any effort to get opinions from Creeks, Seminoles and Uchees in the Southeast. The comments by Eastern Band of Cherokees bureaucrats in North Carolina, which endorsed Langford’s statements, however, were posted.
I was not invited to provide an alternative viewpoint to Langford’s, even though I am Native American and he is not. In fact, I was a past officer of the organization and was acting President in 2006. While a TOTA officer I tried to implement programs more related to the majority of Georgia’s Native Americans, who are of Creek heritage. Prior to that, the Georgia TOTA had essentially been a Cherokee genealogical society, where people who were 128th or less Native American were endeavoring to prove their descent from famous Cherokee chiefs, who were from 1/4th to 1/16th Cherokee. I resigned from office after three months in a row, black SUV’s, driven by men dressed in black, tried to force my car off of mountain roads on the way to TOTA meetings. I was replaced by a contract employee of the Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina.
By the time of the TOTA meeting, a 15 minute segment for the Travel Channel had been filmed at Track Rock with no problems, or even onlookers. It was used on a program about haunted places that tourists can visit. However, six networks had expressed interest in filming documentaries at the ruins. The three that actually applied for filming permits, the History Channel, National GEO and PBS were denied permits, retroactively in mid-April.
In mid-May, just before the California Sierra Club planned a hike up the ruins, US Forest Service employees cut down over 100 trees over the access trail leading to the stone terraces. Simultaneously, a team of archaeologists began a speaking tour of Atlanta civic clubs to attack the Mayas in Georgia “thing”. Their talks were heavily publicized in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, even though normally, the AJC does not even mention local civic meetings, because it wants to appear “sofisteekated.”
Even though the premier of America Unearthed was filmed entirely in Georgia and Mexico, any information about the show was blacked out in the Georgia news media. Even people living in the six counties where it was filmed did not know of the forthcoming international publicity. Normally, TV newscasts and newspapers heavily publicize any TV program filmed in Georgia. Georgia officials missed out on millions of dollars of tourism income as a result of pretending that the History Channel had not spent two weeks filming Native American archaeological sites throughout the state.
Ah-h yes . . . the US Forest Service
Throughout the time I was camping in western North Carolina in 2010, I was harassed non-stop by all levels of law enforcement officers, particularly in the US Forest Service and something called, “the United States Police” whatever that is. At the forefront, was a strange USFS Law Enforcement Ranger, who wore cowboy boots, a cowboy hat and always had teenage boys in the front seat of his patrol car. Hm-m-m-m. I have no criminal record and a perfect driving record. I kept my hair short and have never used illegal drugs.
I really had no conflicts with any civilians in North Carolina. Except when I tried to attend their churches, they were most hospitable to me. Even though I wore a coat and tie, the church folks generally shunned me. However, when the North Carolina mountain folks found out that I had just started writing for the Examiner, several came to me, begging that I expose the corruption in the US Forest Service and TVA facilities in western North Carolina.
The only thing I wrote about, however, was the deplorable situation of homeless veterans, living in the national forests. The situation of the homeless vets back in 2010 is explained below in the commentary.
At that point, the North Carolina State Police, complete with bullet proof vests and machine guns, raided the video games parlor, where I sent out articles to the Examiner. Feeling very silly because of the snafu, their captain admitted that the raid was based on a tip from “someone” that I was running a covert architecture office, disquised by young folks playing video games. The previous year I had let my NC architecture license expire, but kept my Georgia license.
What architecture work? There was almost no construction in the Southeast. That is why I was homeless. Afterward, I checked with the Georgia licensing folks and learned that it would have been quite legal for me to work on projects in Georgia, while camping in North Carolina. Well, there was no work to be had, anyway.
Apparently, the series of Examiner articles involving interviews with homeless vets in the national forests gave the rogue federal cops a brilliant idea. After five months of not being able to charge me with a crime, US Forest Service and other federal law enforcement officers, based in Asheville, set up remote video cameras around my camp site in the Fires Creek area of Cherokee County, NC.
Three elderly Viet Nam veterans, who had been arrested for drinking beer in the national forest, were offered their freedom, if they got me to drink alcoholic beverages or smoke marijuana. They set up camp next to mine. I declined their offers of beer, booz and pot. The Viet Nam vets got stoned and spilled the beans to me. They even showed where the cameras were. I later had a grand time in the Examiner, exposing rogue federal cops, behaving badly.
In 2012 and 2013, the same rogue federal cops behind the Fires Creek fiasco, embarked on a disinformation campaign in North Georgia. They spread a wide range false rumors among the who’s who of the region . . . the funniest being that the “pro-Maya” Marxists wanted to take all that hard earned drug money away from the powers that be.
Rogue cops jest can’t get no respect these days.
I have noticed consistent traits among the rogue law enforcement officers, who make life ten times as hard for the dedicated public servants in their respective agencies. They are veterans, but not officers. They carry deep-seated feelings of inadequacy, aka a sense of powerlessness. As if they were still in Iraq, it matters not whether a selected victim is a criminal, only that their side always wins.
If they had been Naval officers, being trained for independent command, they would have been taught that the surest way to lose a guerilla war is to be driven by an obsession to win at all costs – human decency and the law be damned. Sooner or later, the chickens will come home to roost. They just did this past Monday.
PS – The photo above was taken by the US Forest Service on the Wednesday before the premier of “America Unearthed, the Mayas in Georgia. ” It was part of a multi-thousand dollar waste of tax payers money on a series of publicity stunts. For obvious reasons, those USFS and tribal bureaucrats did not expend the energy required to climb up Buzzard’s Roost Mountain and actually see the stone ruins. However, after several sumptuous meals provided by the USFS that week, they became experts on the subject.
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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