INDIAN SURVIVAL CRISIS BULLETIN
NO. 16 NOVEMBER/DECEMBER, 1985
4TH INSTALLMENT: FUN AND FROLIC IN HISTORY
THE SAVIOR OF NEW FRANCE
One of the idolizers of Pierre Radisson, Coureur de Bois extra-ordinaarye and inspired by his example, wanted to be a great success in the fur trade. His name was Dollard des Ormeaux. He didn't succeed in the fur project but he became a greater hero in New France. In fact, he gained the title "SAVIOR OF NEW FRANCE". Not bad for a young man notorious as a dangerous criminal in Old France. Son of a noble (the rich were a small minority in France and so were all "noble") the law caught up with him but because of his connections, he was given the choice of going to jail or to the equally notorious French colony call New France. He chose to emigrate to New France where he could employ his special talents to the best effects.
Dollard was not going to be an ordinary fur trader. That was too square. He was going to be the best Coureur de Bois which means "runners of the woods". These were French adventurers who disregarded the rules made be the colonial authorities about staying close to towns and habitations. There was money to be made in the woods. Legally and illegally. Les Iroquois had either run out of beaver in their own country or were conserving what they had. At any rate, they were trapping up north, up the Ottawa River. Des Ormeaux concocted the plan to waylay and ambush the Iroquois trappers, hijack their furs, slaughter them and divert the furs to Quebec with much profit to himself and his men, all young adventurers like himself. This was much easier than spending a whole winter trapping and skinning beaver. Let the Indians do that and take over their fur. That's the smart way.
In the school history books, they taught us 20th century Mohawk kids that Dollard and his 17 young friends "were quite ready to give up their lives for their country (the writer didn't know it's Indian country). They had received holy communion the eve of their departure to meet the dreaded foe! The teacher was talking about our ancestors. Goodness knows what we thought about it. Likely, there was just a numbness in our minds. Anyway, Dollard and his men ambushed 20 Long House men in canoes loaded with furs on their way to Orange (Albany). The Iroquois hunters naturally resisted and in the fighting that followed Dollard des Ormeaux and his followers were all killed. It was a case of city street gunfighters shooting it out with woodland warriors in forest warfare. It was one-sided. The history relates that Des Ormeaux and his 17 boys held 700 Iroquois warriors at bay for several days when an unfortunate accident caused the heroes to fall into Iroquois hands. We are expected to accept that only a lucky stroke of good fortune saved 700 experienced woodland guerilla fighters from 17 boys fighting Indians in their own natural habitat, the forest. The Iroquois had no idea they had conquered the Savior of New France or how in dying the 18 tough French hoodlums saved New France. Indians are still trying to understand European system of computation. Will some one tell us how Dollard del Ormeaux saved New France from 29 Indians? The furs arrived safely at their destination.
New France had other French heroes besides the Coureur de Bois. For some 150 years following Champlain's famous frolic or claimed clobbering of the Iroquois, there was almost incessant warfare between the French and the Iroquois. At that time France was said to be the greatest military power on earth. It galled the military leaders that such a small nation as the Long House should stand between them and the conquest of North America. Many were the plans and schemes that went to naught. In all that time of resistance, the Kanonsonnionwe (The Long House) had to contend with a subtle and wily foe who came cloaked in righteousness, but who took notes and drew diagrams of the strengths and weaknesses of Iroquois towns and forts, which were sent back to the French at Quebec. This was how some Iroquois centers ere surprised and attacked by forces of the French an their Indian allies. The missionaries came to save the red man's soul but drew plans to destroy his body. Some of the spying missionaries were caught and executed as we shall presently see.
The first missionaries to make the scene were the Recollects in 1615, to be followed by the Jesuits in 1625. The Sulpicians arrived in 1657. History regards the missionaries as being very courageous in going to live with such fierce people. Actually, they were safer than in their own native France; for the Iroquois as well as the other Indians were bound by their laws an customs to practice hospitality to any and all strangers, to give them food and lodging. Had the Indians any suspicions of strangers, the Europeans never would have gained a foothold in America.
The missionaries came with a book they called "the word of God". In this book were stories more fantastic than the tales of the master story tellers among the Indians. The Missionaries assured the Indians that these stories were inspired by God and therefore are his words and the stories his stories. According to the missionaries, God created heaven and earth and created man in his own image. If so, we wonder what are the nipples doing on the chest of God as the same appear on the chest of man who is the image of God. Science tells us that the nipples on the chest of man denotes that his is an incomplete woman. Feminists, take note. It follows that the nipples on the chest of God denotes that his is an incomplete Goddess. Correctly so, since if there is a God, there has to be a Goddess. There must be no discrimination up there in the Most High. The Goddess is for the men to worship. It is not natural for men to worship a male God. That's for the women. Now that we have arrived at the correct arrangement, let's move on to the "Creation".
The missionaries taught the Indians that this creation happened a little less than 6,000 years ago, according to the calculations of Bishop Usher arrived at by studying the Bible some 300 plus years ago. Nowadays, the missionaries no longer believe that calculation. One of them was interviewed on TV along with a group of "pagan" Indians and at the close of his speech he said "Of course, the Indians have been here for 15,000 years". Comparing this to Bishop Usher's calculation it means that 9000 years before Adam the Bible's first man, ate his first apple, that famous meal the "faithful" have yet to digest, the red man was already here. We think the Indians originated right here in America a few millions of years ago.
According to the Book of the Missionaries, God is ignorant. It relates that God created heaven and earth but that God doesn't know how the solar system works that he created. The Word of God says "Joshua raised his hand and stopped..." The occasion was a battle between Joshua's army, the Israelites and some ancient enemy and that Joshua's army was winning the battle, but the night was coming on and Joshua feared that the enemy would get away in the dark, reform the next day and do better, perhaps even defeat the Israelites. So Joshua stopped the sun so the daylight would be extended. But he stopped the wrong thing. He would have to stop the earth, not the sun, for it's the earth revolving on its own axis which makes night and day. Or else Joshua would have had to move the sun to follow the earth's rotations so that the daylight would continue to shine so Joshua may continue to fight the good fight. It can mean on of two things. Either the book of the missionaries is not the word of God or God lacks perspicacity (heap big word delights College boys, means "keen judgment").
The missionaries also preached about paleface heaven (using the word paleface heaven advisedly being assured that the white man has also taken over that place. He makes the rules and decides who goes there). Only those who obeyed the missionaries here below go to paleface heaven. Only those who keep the missionaries and their superiors in ease and luxury may enjoy eternal life. The celestial reaches of paleface heaven is dotted with Indian reservations where go the good Christian Indians who in earthly life obeyed their missionary masters and where they will enjoy daily heavenly encroachments by paleface saints, the same crooks who dispossessed us here in the name of God. There in a pearly throne sits the saintly Columbus, the first white man to steal Indian land and directed the slaughter of almost 300 thousand Indian natives of Haiti. There stands the pious Cortes, slayer of Montezuma and looter of Aztec gold. Ah! there's Pizarro and his holy brother, killers of the infidel Inca an defilers of his golden palaces. The list of looters, plunderers and killers of Indians is endless, all enjoying their holy rewards for deeds done in the name of God. If you're smart, kid, you can do anything in this world, no matter how evil, as long as you do it in the name of God. That's how the white man did it! A voice from the past whispers: "go ye and do likewise".
Hell, said the missionary is a place of everlasting fires, of sulphurous pain and misery where God shall cast the soul of any of his children who did not mind the words of the missionary. The Indian children were given to understand that there was some kind of working agreement between hell's Firekeeper and the missionaries. The soul, said the missionary, leaves the body when a person dies. The soul then is bodiless. In other words, it shall not experience the same sensations as does the body. It shall not know hunger, thirst, pain, sickness and death. It requires a body with a nervous system to feel these sensations. The creation of hell then is a diving mistake for the soul cast into it cannot feel the heat, since it cannot experience pain. Of course, it's only a belief that God created hell, not knowledge. By the same token, if the soul ascends to heaven, it will not feel the absolute zero temperature of outer space, 459.6 degrees below Fahrenheit. Going to heaven while still alive is not a good idea, unless one's space suit and craft function with a hitch.
"But, happily," said the missionary, "our heavenly Father sent down his only begotten son to save us from the everlasting sulphurous fires". The missionary called this Son of God "The lamb who came to taketh away the sins of the world", which is why there is now no more sin. In case you wondered. The missionaries explained that the Son of God is equal to God the Father and is God. That they are one and the same. It is a mystery they said, that we must believe absolutely. God is his own Father and God's Father is the Son of Himself. The missionary did not explain how spirits can copulate. Apparently, the reason why God the Father did not marry the Mother of His Son, which would have been the honorable thing to do, is because the Mother would then be marrying his own Son.
The purpose of the Father God in sending the Son God was that he be crucified to death to expiate the sins of God's creatures here on earth. No wonder the missionaries didn't get anywhere at the Grand Council of the Iroquois Confederacy at Onondaga. The missionary's form of justice conflicts with the Long House sense of justice; the innocent should not be made to pay for the wrong doings of evil people. It's the guilty who should be punished and not the innocent.
In the discussion that followed, it came out that the Long House people did not pray. They only gave thanks for any and all the good things that happen to them and have organized nine thanksgiving festivals during the year to mark the events. One young warrior said "We don't pray, we praise". Actually, to pray is to entreat, beseech, petition, in brief it is to ask for some kind of favor. Praying is like trying to direct God to act in a desired way. The missionaries urged Indians to pray as they do, that is, to tell God what to do. More, to say the prayers over and over again. God's dumb, see! Can't understand anything the first time. Gotta tell him lots of times. At this very moment, there are millions of people praying all over the world, all telling God what to do. They're saying the same words of praise over and over. If the millions of people praying at every given second of every day have their way, God's going to be pretty damn busy the next few million years. When the white man prays, he believes he can talk his way to heaven. He assumes that God is a dumb cluck who can be sweet talked into forgetting all the evil he does in between prayers. A better prayer would be good deeds not sweet words, kindness towards others, fairness in all dealings. Unless God is an egotistical chap, he must be pretty tired by now of all this praising. Isn't he bound to think "What's with these cats? Do they think I'm stupid or something, telling me the same thing all the time". Anyway, God's too busy being screwed by the white man to answer prayers. When the preacher says the Bible is the word of God, he is putting words in God's mouth. God did not write the Bible. They have God saying so many stupid things in their "Good Book" that the faithful can't tell if God wants them to be saints or ripping plunderers and looters. That is how they're screwing the Lord. A law should be made forbidding preachers to deceive the faithful into believing in unprovable doctrines so they can make money in fabulous amounts. Since preachers have such influence over the faithful, it is logical that they should be allowed to speak only on things they can prove.
The dictionary defines religion as a system of worship and belief. It does not say a system of worship and knowledge. Belief means to accept something as a fact without actually knowing it's a fact. For example, a judge and jury, after weighing all the evidence and testimony come to the belief that the accused is guilty of murder as charged and sentence him to death. After the poor fellow is dead, it transpires that another man had done the deed. It has happened many times. Even lying testimony has sent an accused to the scaffold. The judge and jury only believed the man was guilty. They did not know. So, belief is not knowledge. Reality and facts are not beliefs. They are knowledge. This makes religion a questionable entity. What so many people spend so much money, time and even their future lives on, is unprovable. It's just a belief, not knowledge. If people need religion and have to have religion, then let's give them a religion based on knowledge and not beliefs.
The missionaries insisted on being called "Father". That's what they make the faithful call them and that's what they call each other. They did not tell the early Indian concerts that Jesus said in Matt. 23.9: "And call no man on earth your Father, for one is your Father who is in Heaven. The early Indian converts could not read the Good Book, not having any education and had no way of knowing what Jesus is said to have said. By actual count, there are 240 sayings of Jesus which are totally ignored by the clergy as if they did not believe in Jesus Christ. During a big church council at Rome in 1519, when the Prelates, Bishops and Cardinals repaired to the basement lounge for refreshment after a council session and were joined there by their mistresses for a few rounds of cognac. Nothing cheap about a big Church Council. When the powerful liquor went to holy heads and loosened pious tongues, Pope Alexander was overheard to remark to Cardinal Hembo: "What a profitable superstition for popes is this fable of Christ!" Profitable superstition and fable, he said. Is it any wonder the missionaries ignore the teachings of Jesus?
Besides converting, subverting and indoctrinating (brainwashing to you, you heretic!) the noble "savages", the missionaries were also busy bringing greater glory to France. Bringing God to more Indian countries meant more land for His Most Christian Majesty King Louie of France. Les Dutch warned Les Iroquois they had spies in their country and they were black robes who made drawings and maps of Iroquois towns. The Iroquois had thought these chaps were just clever fellows who made excellent drawings of people and everything around them. One Reverend Father Jogues was hanging around the Mohawk towns making long winded sermons and it was also noticed that he made numerous sketches of Mohawk forts and doing other things warned by the Dutch. He sent all his material to Quebec by messenger who was intercepted by Mohawk investigators. The translations confirmed all fears. It was spy material alright. The Mohawks found out where they were strong and where they were weak. They found out how many men they had and how many women, something they had never bothered to count. But Reverend Father Jogues had left for New Amsterdam (later New York City) where he embarked for France on a visit. Meanwhile, his two buddies, Rene Goupil and Mons. LaLande were closely watched and in time gave themselves away by being caught red handed. They were arrested and tried before a military tribunal on charges of espionage, convicted and sentenced to death. The method of execution was in the Iroquois style. A blow on the head with a war club which caused instant death and no pain. Not aware of the fate of his friends, Reverend Father Jogues returned to the Mohawk country where he had already been tried in absentia and sentenced to death. On his arrival, he was met with a blow on his head by a war club and dispatched to paleface heave. Score, three pious and holy spies, they were not burned at the stake. Time 1642.
Some 25 or so years ago, in the province of Ontario, Fort Ste. Marie was rebuilt on the very spot where it was destroyed by the Iroquois in 1649. After the work was completed, a convention was held there. Indians and missionaries gathered together and made speeches. One Mohawk Jesuit Priest told the Indian gathering: "The white man did not come to steal out land. He came to give us a better land- Heaven!" This, of course, proves that the white man had taken over heaven. He can give away the land up there to worthy Indians. In a news interview, one Reverend admitted that the clergy tried for 300 years to abolish the Long House. Everywhere they went, they spread propaganda against the Iroquois Confederacy among the Indians all over America. They feel sure they "checked the expansion of the Iroquois empire". They felt that their work enabled the white people to open up the continent to settlement by Europeans. At various times, the Reverend Fathers admitted they blackened the reputation of the Iroquois especially the Mohawks, among the Indians of North America. The efforts by the mighty church to destroy a small Indian nation is certainly worthy of a better cause. The purpose, they said, of ostracizing the Iroquois among the other Indian nations was the fear that if these Indian nations associated with the Iroquois, something big may result such as a huge confederacy under the Great Law of the Iroquois, which would have made it impossible for the Europeans to conquer the continent. The Mohawks were especially singled out in the propaganda because they were (still are) organizers and very militant.
During the 1640's, the feeling was spreading in the cantons of the Confederacy that some secret organization was plotting and working towards their downfall. Some group was stirring up the Indian nations surrounding the Iroquois country and inciting them to attack and destroy the Long House. At the time, the Iroquois had a protectorate of Indian nations who were no longer attacked by their enemies because of this protection. (to be continued....)
INDIAN SURVIVAL CRISIS BULLETIN