Marlo Morgan self-published a book in 1990 titled Mutant Message Down Under, which chronicles the journey of a middle-aged, white, American woman with a group of 62 desert Aborigines, the "Real People", across the continent of Australia. The author states the book was written after the fact inspired by actual experience.
Mutant Message Down Under quickly attained word of mouth popularity with the New Age movement in the United States, was picked up for bookstore distribution by Bookpeople, then consequently picked up by giant publishing firm HarperCollins, and marketed as fiction by them. Nearly a million copies of the HarperCollins publication have been sold around the world. Morgan completed many lecture tours promoting the book in the United States and Europe. In her lectures Ms Morgan speaks of her actual experience with the "Real People" and states she is an Aborigine.
According to the 90-page report published by the Perth-based Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation, a survey of Aboriginal groups in Central and Western Australia failed to uncover any indication whatsoever of Ms Morgan’s presence in the area or of the existence of the "Real People" tribe. They claim that Aboriginal groups believe Ms Morgan’s desert journey to be fabricated and that her book and teaching lack credibility. The Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation stated that it was deeply offensive to Aboriginal people for a white person to be misrepresenting Aboriginal culture for self-promotion and profit. Aboriginal people expressed anger that Ms Morgan’s false message is being accepted as fact by a naive American and European market and were extremely concerned about the resulting long-term implications for their culture.
In 1996 a group of Aboriginal elders, seriously disturbed by the book's implications, received a grant to travel to the States and confront Marlo Morgan about her book and to try to prevent a Hollywoodisation of it. She admitted publicly that she had faked it but this received little publicity in the USA. The Aboriginal people are very angry that this book continues to be promoted and sold widely because it gives a very false picture of their traditional culture and of their current political and social status. This is very damaging to their very real struggle for survival.
Read more about this topic: Marlo Morgan
Famous quotes containing the word message:
“The message you give your children when you discipline with love is I care too much about you to let you misbehave. I care enough about you that Im willing to spend time and effort to help you learn what is appropriate. All children need the security and stability of food, shelter, love, and protection, but unless they also receive effective and appropriate discipline, they wont feel secure.”
—Stephanie Marston (20th century)