"FREEDOM OF SPEECH VERSUS INTEGRITY OF ABORIGINAL CULTURE AND SPIRITUALITY"
AS ABORIGINAL CULTURAL ARTS MAINTAINS AN EXTENSIVE AND VARYING INTEREST TO MANY WESTERN COUNTRIES IT IS IMPERATIVE TO STRENGTHEN OUR COMMITMENT OF THE RIGHTS OF OWNERSHIP OF OUR PEOPLE OVER THE OLDEST LIVING CULTURE ON THE MOST ANCIENT LAND MASS ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.
During the past four years an extensive International Campaign has been generated by the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation to expose the fraudulent hoax of Marlo Morgan's, "Mutant Message Down Under" as a fabricated New Age fantasy based on deceit andCultural inaccuracies.
The Campaign has resulted in three major "Bounuh Wongee Message Stick" reports and Declaration titled "Jangga Meenya Bomumggur". [The Smell of the White Man is Killing us] which was used as the media foundation when seven Aboriginal Elders travelled to the U.S.A to participate in a Press Conference regarding "Mutant Message Down Under"and other forms of Cultural Appropriation and Exploitation.
The Campaign had taken us from the red dust of the inner Central Desert region of Australia to the far reaching East and West Kimberley areas of the most northern coast lines to the lush Forrest regions of the Southern Coastlines of Australia, to the tinsel town illusions and attempted New Age seduction of Hollywood to the more Culturally sensitive responses of the political and Cultural movements of the San Fransisco Region, then onto the most Industrialised Country in the world, Japan to finally confront Marlo Morgan during her public presentations both in Kobe City and Tokyo.
In Protest, as we acquired the podium we spoke of the following points.
1. We as the Custodial Owners of Aboriginal Cultural have come representing our Traditional Elders, Spiritual Leaders, Grass Roots Advocates, Our Ancestors and our Future Generations.
2. We have come united as one voice representing the Spiritual strength of all our people across our lands.
3. We condemn you Marlo Morgan as a fraud and Spiritual thief, your story of "Mutant Message Down Under" as a fabricated New Age Fantasy, your journey with the Real People as nothing more than a hoax.
4. The Bounuh Wongee Message Stick is the undeniable truth. The words of all our people is to stop this hurt, Stop these lies and make right what you have done wrong.
5. May this act as a warning to all those outside interest who steal our Cultural knowledge for Commercial or Religious gain that our people will continuously challenge and fight against the ongoing distortion and Appropriation of our Culture and Spirituality.
6. MAY OUR CAMPFIRES BURN FOREVER.
Marlo Morgan reaction to our protest in Kobe was to inform the audience once we left the podium that both myself and Paul Sampi had travelled to the United States during early 1996 to carry out an assassination attempt on her life. She stated that "the attempt had failed because she represented all that was good and we represented all that was bad, in the end goodness will prevail". she further stated that if you knew of the people in which I write about in "Mutant Message" you will see the starck difference between those people and the two men who have come here today.
Marlo Morgans response at the Tokyo walk in was very different to that of Kobe as we approached the podium she walked towards us holding in her hand a rose, she stated "Take this token gift of love, come over to us and become one with us. We know you are full of anger and hate but we love you all the same". Upon leaving the Tokyo auditorium she state to the audience that she knew they had not spent 3,500 Yen to come here to listen to these two men.
The Japanese Campaign against "Mutant Message Down Under" was extremely successful resulting in massive National Media focus and a positive meeting with the Japanese Publishers (Kadokawa). The Japanese support group comprised a number of competent and committed people who arranged a large number of Press Conference and Public Lectures at Universities and other Institutions.
There continues to be many complexities regarding the legalities of the Campaign during the initial stages we sought legal advice both in the U.S.A and in Australia for the purpose of commencing legal proceeding against the Author on Racial Discrimination grounds. We were advised by the Aboriginal Legal Service in Darwin Northern Territory, that the Legislative Laws protecting the rights of Intellectual Property in Australia were not appropriate under the Racial Discrimination Act as the Law currently dose not address knowledge ownership.
There also continues to be difficlties negotiating and corresponding with the Multi National Companies whom have commercial interests in the marketing of the Exploitation of Indigenous Cultures such undeniably the case of "Mutant Message Down Under", The U.S.A giant publishers Harper Collins to date have never responded to any documentation or acknowledged receipt of documentation from the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation regarding the concerns of Aboriginal People to the exploitive nature of "Mutant Message".
United Artist (Hollywood Movie Company) officially agreed to meet with the Elders representing vast Regious of Australia prior to the Elders departure, cancelled the scheduled meeting with the contingent during the first day of their arrival in Los Angeles stating that the situation had become to controversial.
The response from the Australian Media has been just as perplexing, whilst International Media had focussed extensively on the issues of Indigenous Intellectual Property Rights and Cultural Ownership Issues in a more congenial way as a result of the Campaign, the Western Australian Newspaper based in Perth not more than five kilometers from Dumbartung (The only West Australian Newspaper in circulation) we believe deliberately suppressed the voice of the Campaign to minor articles on the back pages of the paper.
The Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation has during the past four years established the "Wall Of Shame" this Initiative exhibits examples of Cultural Appropriation and Exploitation including,
1.The impact of Eco-Tourism on Sacred and Significant Aboriginal Sites.
2.The Appropriation of Sacred Cultural Symbols and Imagery by Non-aboriginal Graphic Artists.
3.Tourist Commodities and products which are made by Non-aboriginal Companies for sale in souvenir outlets.
4.Cultural Material Exploitation and Commercialisation of object such as the Didgeridoo, Bullroarer etc.
5.Exploitation of Ecological knowledge.
6.The Exploitation of Traditional Music, Dance and the Arts.
7.Stolen Cultural and Cermonial objects.
8.Identity Appropriation focussing on individuals who have claimed an identity of Aboriginality by means of fraudulence methods such as:
The "Wall of Shame" has been maintained to allow people to recognised the extent of Aboriginal Cultural Appropriation and Exploitation.