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Drug companies appear to be targeting Native American tribes

Drug companies appear to be targeting Native American tribes


Both federally-recognized Native American tribes and those on Medicare are being “farmed” by the healthcare industry

Below is a portion of a press release from the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.  Based on information given me by some officials of Muscogee-Creek Nation of Oklahoma, while I was doing projects for them, I have no doubt that the Cherokee claims are accurate and that drug companies have been carrying out similar marketing campaigns within federally-recognized indigenous tribes throughout the United States.  Both private sector doctors and personnel of the US Indian Health Service are complicit in these activities.

“The Cherokee Nation was the first Tribe to file a landmark lawsuit against retail distributors of opioids in 2017. In 2015 and 2016, distributors shipped and pharmacies dispensed 184 million opioid pain pills in the 14 counties of the Cherokee Nation, equating to 153 doses for every man, woman and child in the area. The Tribe later filed a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers Purdue Pharma L.P., Purdue Pharma Inc., Purdue Frederick Company Inc., and Purdue Pharma Manufacturing Inc. The complaint charges the companies with conducting a years-long marketing campaign that has resulted in the vast over-prescribing and distribution of prescription opioids, and failing to prevent the flow of illegally prescribed opioids to 355,000 men, women, and children in the Cherokee Nation. Both lawsuits are pending.”

The problem, however, extends far beyond Native American tribes.  Healthcare institutions and providers in many counties around the Sunbelt are “farming” elderly residents in order make healthcare the economic base to replace conventional industries wiped out by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990s.  This is especially true in coastal and mountain communities that attract large numbers of retirees.

The problem is just as bad in the Southeastern United States

Back in 2011 and 2012,  I was not bothering anyone and trying to study the Track Rock Terrace Complex in Union County, GA, which was near the abandoned chicken house, where I was living.  At the time, my primary source of income was writing the Architecture column for the National Examiner.  I was paying $650 a month to live in the efficiency apartment on one end of the chicken house.  The apartment had no furnace, while the stove and water heater burned propane gas . . . yet I was getting $250-$360 a month electric power bills.  The Blue Ridge EMC did nothing about my complaints because they viewed me as a homeless bum. 

First, a next door neighbor was busted for running a meth lab, not authorized by local organized crime and therefore not protected by the sheriff’s department. Then they squealed on my landlords, who were growing marijuana in their basement with grow lights, powered from the electricity running through my meter!  I had to get out of there quickly and ended up in a basement apartment, owned by a 74 year old lady from southwest Georgia.

That lasted only a few months. First, at Christmastime a plague of hantavirus swept through the residents of the county on Medicare.  Few other residents seemed to be in contact with the virus.  I thought that was odd since the virus is carried by wild mice and mostly occurs in the Southwest.  It is caused by direct contact with the feces or urine of certain species of mice while in the summertime woods or fields, not spread person to person.  The county hospital, which normally had low occupancy, was filled to the brim with Medicare patients.  The management got a nice Christmas bonus, but 79 elderly people died of hantavirus that month, according to an article in the local newspaper.  I eventually came down with the hantavirus (nasty stuff) , but didn’t realize at the time that I could not have caught it like one catches the flu. During that month, the landlady asked me several times to go pick up large containers of cough syrup from a doctors office, since she had the flu . . . she said. 

After recovering from the hantavirus,  I emailed the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and told them about the mysterious plague. The improbability of so many people coming in contact with mice not indigenous to the Appalachian Mountains and the fact that it seemed primarily to infect families and elderly people on Medicare or Medicaid, seemed highly suspicious.  A few days later, I received a brief email, which said that they had contacted the administrator of the Union County Hospital and that he knew nothing about any hantavirus cases in their area.   I then sent the CDC employee a copy of the newspaper article in which the hospital administrator, plus a nurse and doctor at the hospital, were interviewed about the hantavirus outbreak . . . but got no response.

Within six weeks, my landlady was busted for distribution of oxycodone (opioid) pills and illegal sales of cough syrup to meth manufacturing labs.  She began stealing my belongings to pawn in order to pay for her bond.  At that point, local sheriff’s deputies, who were paid by the taxpayers to protect organized crime,  assumed that I was a “DEA spy” and began really hassling me.

At that time, a paramilitary training camp and several illegal drug distribution operations were near the Track Rock ruins.  The neo-Nazi’s in the county, who unknowingly were being funded by some of the illegal drug profits, decided that I was a spy from the US Department of Defense.  They were quite aware that I had lived in a tent in the wilderness for a year, after being given only three days notice before being evicted on Christmas Eve 2009.   In fact, the landlady repeatedly asked me if I had a special military background in the “Green Berets or something,” because no one could have survived in the woods on such short notice without special military training.   I told her that I never had served active duty in the US Navy . . . which was true . . . but was an Eagle Scout.  I didn’t tell her about my adventures in Central America and Europe, while doing “favors” for Naval Intelligence. LOL

Then one night, a screw was inserted into a tire of my car.  When I went to the tire shop to get the tire fixed, the mechanics unscrewed the mounting bolts on my Explorer’s steering wheel.  I was supposed to meet a women from Asheville, NC for lunch in Franklin, NC, which meant driving over a mile high gap.  Fortunately,  the steering wheel did not fall into my lap until I was on a flat stretch of the route.  Because the key switch was attached to the steering wheel, I could not stop the engine, but was able to use brakes to get the car off the four lane highway and stop the engine.  I had to get out of Union County fast.

After I got out of there, the full story unfolded.   The senior administrators of the Union County Hospital were the managers of the oxycodone-ingredients for meth distribution program. They were arrested by federal and state DEA agents. Higher-ups in organized crime, drug companies and drug company salesmen were complicit in the operation, but had powerful politicians protecting them from prosecution.  Hundreds of millions of oxycodone pills were pouring into northern Georgia, western North Carolina, southeastern Tennessee and Metro Atlanta from that rural hospital.  The management of the national corporation that owned the hospital and the management of the drug companies had to know that something was wrong, but all they cared about was profits.  The Cherokee Nation is doing the “right thing” in going after the manufacturers of opioids.

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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.



    Richard, satanist and atheist seem to be in charge of many factors that have led to this nose-dive America since the founders. The Roman Catholic church is filled with pedophiles…GOD only knows what blackmailing material they have on their membership. “Jesus is the lord” Churches are paid to keep quit on current politics or else they lose their no tax rate benefits. p.s “Jesus” is not a Jewish name. I would estimate a 25 % drugged out voting base now in this country not just targeting Natives but the whole country. many people just voting for “economy” a new word for the same old money/ greed world. Why are people still voting for 2 massive bankrupting parties who are sending tons of money overseas when “we the people…s” are 20 trillion dollars in the hole? For what reason should we taught to be honoring the likes of Colon (Columbus), B. Franklin (Hellfire clubs) or Thomas Jefferson (who cut up Bibles and had sex with his slaves)?….you just can’t save the “I’m with world order”….what’s new? Perhaps the best choice is a Presidential pardon for the whole country in order to clean out the system that is massively corrupt.

    • Yeh . . . I can’t believe that none of the people in Congress seemed concerned about the nation’s rapidly escalating debt at the same time that more and more people are living on legal drugs, prescribed by doctors.


        Richard, they don’t care. Why should they? They are too concerned with diversionary tactics and “pet projects” that disrespect the collective. Their game is hurting people and keeping us divided. The educated and the unaware alike… they are warlike and will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.


    Wow, wow, wow!!! You had me on the edge of my seat. For one, I knew that NAFTA was full of baloney, hence why we are currently dealing with this border crisis bs. Monsanto and the EPA are in collusion to promote GMOs while knowing that Roundup is a carcinogen and it is in our food. Flouride is making us stupid by calcifying our pineal and the government cares not about people on the Rez, much less the women… who seem to be the target of serial killers now. Opioids are non-necessary poisons and I find it so ironic that my current course towards my MA in Psychology is Psychopharmacology. Either someone hates me, or loves me very much for allowing me to have this experience. I could say so much more…

    • About 23 years ago, I had some major abdominal surgery. I actually had a lot less pain inside of me after the surgery than before, so really didn’t need pain killers. Yep, as I was leaving the hospital the nurse handed me a plastic container of oxycodine tablets and told me to take all of them. Three refills were allowed on the label. She didn’t warn me that they were addictive or psychotrophic. I took one tablet and felt really weird. I never took another pill and threw away the medicine. Never needed it. How many people get hooked on these opioids this way?


        Sadly, too many… 🙁


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