How “Maya Myth-busting in the Mountains” got infiltrated by an ignorant “white” peon, who wanted to steal Cherokee sacred sites
People of One Fire Youtube Channel to feature long series on the “Maya Connection.”
Seven years ago, in an outrageous waste of taxpayers’ money, a secret cartel of US Forest Service bureaucrats, officials of the Eastern Band of Cherokees in North Carolina and some archaeologists in Georgia, tried to prevent national television networks from filming publicly accessible archaeological sites on US Government land in Georgia . . . then, when the History Channel decided to go ahead with their project . . . discredit the program, before it was even filmed. This particularly corrupt USFS office was no stranger to controversy. Three years before it had been busted for requiring private companies to make contributions to certain political candidates in order to do business with the US Forest Service! A member of the US House of Representatives was forced to resign from office because of the scandal. The American public was never told that in 2012.
Their efforts failed. Even today, the premier of “America Unearthed” is a very popular video on Youtube and has spawned several other Youtube videos by other film makers. The majority of comments under these videos are very positive. However, STILL there are a lot of dumb comments made by people, who known virtually nothing about the cultural heritage of the Maya and Creek Peoples. During the next few months, I will be producing a series of short videos that explain the real history of the Creeks, Seminoles, Miccosukee, Soque, Koasati, Alabama and Mayas.
This is something that few people know. March 16th marked the seventh anniversary of when an employee of the Museum of the Cherokee Indian in Cherokee, NC . . . for unknown reasons . . . added the email address that I used in 2006, while acting president of the Georgia Trail of Tears Association, to a list of email recipients that included the Eastern Band of Cherokees Cultural Preservation Office, a couple of archaeologists in Georgia, one North Carolina archaeologists, officers of the Society for Georgia Archaeology, anthropology professors at the University of Georgia and Florida State University, US Forest Service personnel and a EBC tribal council member, who was also a high-ranking official in Homeland Security. Address books in other peoples’ computers quickly put me on the emailings of most people involved in the conspiracy. This went on for over a year until someone in “federal law enforcement” apparently realized that he or she was being sent the same confidential emails that I was receiving. Of course, one immediately wonders why the partial Maya ancestry of the Creek, Seminole, Miccosukee and Chickasaw Peoples would be a threat to national security?
Appalling is the only word to describe the lack of knowledge among the PhD’s on the email distribution list concerning both the Creek and Maya Peoples. Even an FSU professor, who had worked on a site in Yucatan, obviously knew very little about the long cultural history and diversity of “Maya” languages and architecture. He lived in a world defined by artifacts. None of the PhD’s knew that most of the Mayas did not call themselves Mayas until the Spanish told them that was their name. Maiam was the name of one province on the tip of Yucatan, when the Spanish conquered the region in the early 1500s. None of the group knew that there were Maya place names in the Southeastern United States.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Cultural Preservation Office in Cherokee, North Carolina contacted their counterparts in the federally recognized Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole and Miccosukee tribes and described me as “a white man, pretending to be a Native American, who is making up false history about our peoples. He claims that the Mayas built the mounds in the Southeast.” The Cherokee officials urged the other tribes “to present a united front against this attack on our heritage.” At the same time, the North Carolina Cherokee Cultural Preservation Office adopted as their official seal, a Proto-Creek shell gorget excavated from Mound C at Etowah Mounds in Georgia. (image at left) They didn’t realize that it portrayed a priestess of the Maya god, Kukulkan. The young woman’s headdress can be seen on many Maya murals and stone engravings.
The logo of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Historical Association uses a Proto-Creek pottery motif found near Savannah, Georgia. The New Cherokee dictionary, published in Oklahoma, displays on its cover a proto-Creek gorget found near Columbus, GA. Are the readers seeing a pattern, here? It is obvious that the North Carolina Cherokees really, really in their hearts want to be Creeks living in Georgia. Is it really that bad living on a reservation owned by the Russian Mafia? LOL
Lisa LaRue-Baker, a blue-eyed Cherokee in Topeka, Kansas, who then played the keyboard in a rock band, agreed to write an article in “Indian Country Today” magazine about the Track Rock Archaeological Zone in Georgia. Actually, the article was credited to her, but I watched the body of the article coming from the EBCI Cultural Preservation Office, a member of the Georgia Council of Professional Archaeologists and a public relations officer with the US Forest Service. The theme of her article was the expression of outrage by Oklahoma Cherokees that whites in Georgia were trying to steal a Sacred Cherokee Heritage Site, where many Cherokee chiefs were buried. I saw no evidence that Ms. Larue-Baker had ever been in Georgia, much less visited the Track Rock Archaeological Zone. The Cherokees pictured above had their photo taken at the Track Rock sign, but were not in physical condition to make the 600 feet high climb to the Track Rock acropolis. In fact, in my many visits to Track Rock Gap, I never saw an archaeologist or a Cherokee. However, on several occasions I met Georgia and Alabama Creeks coming to see one of their heritage sites.
The US Forest Service used as its main paid spokesman, South African archaeologist Johannes Loubser. In his formal report to the US Forest Service, Loubser described the Track Rock Petroglyphs as “indiscernible graffiti by bored Cherokee hunters.” Track Rock Gap contains the largest collection of petroglyphs in the United States. Four of the symbols are Itza Maya glyphs. One carving is a plea for help in 1715 from Liube, a Jewish girl caught up in the Yamasee War. Most of the remaining symbols can be found on the Nyköping Petroglyphs in southern Sweden. They have been dated to 2000 BC!
Loubser repeatedly described me to audiences and the press as “a white man pretending to be a Creek, who is trying to steal the Cherokee’s history.” Loubser never met a Creek and never had been in Mexico. A South African/Sephardic Jewish friend of Loubser’s at Oxford University wrote an editorial in the Journal of the American Institute of Archaeology, which described me as “an ignorant peon.” This coincided with a period of time in the fall of 2012 when I also was being painted as an anti-semitic Neo-Nazi. In fact, I did not even know that Loubser was Jewish until two members of his Jewish congregation, who according to their bumper stickers were veterans of the Israeli Defense Forces, drove up to my mountain cabin in their expensive sports cars, to threaten me. I was not what they expected. At the time, I happened to be clearing brush near the road with a machete. They literally burned rubber in an effort to get their very expensive sports cars back to the safety of Atlanta.
As with everything else said by the Maya-myth busting crew, the statements had nothing to do with the truth. My first love was Alicia Rozanes Moreno, a Sephardic Jewish señorita in Mexico. My dearest friends, while living near Asheville, NC, were Harry and Lillie Lerner . . . survivors of the Holocaust . . . in fact, Lillie was one of the few, who survived Auschwitz.
Eventually, Barbara Duncan wrote Scott Wolter, the host of “America Unearthed” and Maria Awes, the program’s director, to warn them about my lack of qualifications to be on the show. Most of what she said was merely parroted from what she was told by two archaeologists. None them knew that I had a fellowship in Mexico or that my mother’s family were listed on the Eastern Creek Docket, plus received reparations from the federal government. They also did not know at this time that the Chief Archaeologist at Chichen Itza, Dr. Alfonso Morales, had backed up everything I said 100%.
Barbara Duncan: “Neither the original article or the edits, as described by The Guardian, accurately reflect Cherokee history and pre-history in north Georgia. Richard Thornton’s work is not creditable regarding the Maya or the Cherokees.”
Scott Wolter: “Can you give us specific reasons why Richard Thornton’s work is not credible that support your opinion?“
Barbara Duncan: “–“The most obvious is that the Maya people did not “die out” as he claims, and relocate to Georgia.” I obviously never said anything like that! A Maya guide and his two teenage kids were my guides in the boonies of Yucatan. Many nights, I slept in Maya huts in the jungle. More than four million Mayan people live in central America and continue to speak their ancestral Mayan language.”
“–Thornton claims to be Creek, but the Muscogee Nation and Poarch Creek Nation, the two federally-recognized Creek tribes, do not recognize him. Both they and they the Eastern Band have serious concerns about his work.”
“–In addition to erroneous details, his work shows a lack of understanding of the broad principles and findings of the fields of archaeology, anthropology, and history.”
“Of course, everyone is entitled to his opinion, and free speech has given him a platform. These are my personal opinions.”
In a documentary on the Cherokee People, broadcast nationally by PBS, Barbara Duncan stated that the Cherokees were “the first humans in the Western Hemisphere and once occupied all of the Americas.” She also stated that “the Cherokees were the ancestors of the Aztecs and Mayas,” plus, “The Cherokees were the first people to cultivate corn, beans and squash.” The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill obviously teaches a different version of history than what I was taught at Georgia Tech and Georgia State.
The Rest of the Story
I did not know anyone in the Muscogee-Creek Nation until September 2003. While I was selling a little booklet at the Southeastern American Indian Festival on my architectural analysis of Ocmulgee National Monument, six members of the Muscogee-Creek National Council came up to my booth. One of the men stated, “You’re Creek aren’t you? Are you a member of the Muscogee-Creek Nation?”
I told him “Yes, I am a Hitchiti Creek from Georgia, but a member of a state recognized tribe, not the Creek Nation.” The continuing conversation resulted in me getting a series of research and model building projects for the next five years. MCN officials actually tried to figure out a way to get me enrolled as a citizen in the Muscogee-Creek Nation, but it seemed impossible. I have several distant cousins, who are citizens of the Muskogee-Creek Nation. Two of my direct ancestors had been mikkos and signed the 1773 Treaty of Augusta. They became allies of the Patriots in the American Revolution. HOWEVER, when after the American Revolution, the Tory Principal Chief, Alexander McGillivray, launched Upper Creek war parties against Creek Patriot families in Northeast Georgia, most Creeks in that region permanently cut ties with the Creek Confederacy. My family was listed as Indians on the US Census and continued to wear traditional Creek clothing in some photographs, however. My grandmother’s oldest brother (by 28 years) actually took a Creek allotment in 1905, but no members of our immediately family ever signed the Dawes Rolls . . . which is the prime requirement for MCN citizenship.
In 2008, the State of Oklahoma contacted me about being the Architect for the Trail of Tears Memorial in Tulsa, OK. I did not even know about the project until then. Later that year, organized crime pumped a large fortune into the Creek elections in order to put in people, who would funnel contracts to organized crime owned companies. Everyone, who I had worked with at the MCN was fired, after the new Principal Chief was sworn into office. They had played a major role in keeping organized crime out of the Muskogee casinos.
The MCN Second Chief was eventually convicted of violating federal laws and went to prison. The situation was so bad that when President Obama was meeting with representatives of the Five Civilized Tribes, he refused to meet alone with the Principal Chief or even have a photograph made of him with the Creek Principal Chief. The current MCN government is trying to clean up the mess, but there has been no one there, who knows me personally, since 2008.
Now you know!
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