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Mutant Message Down Under

Newspaper article #1

Mutant Author Says She's Sorry

Controversial American writer Marlo Morgan offered Australian Aborigines an apology yesterday for her best-selling book, Mutant Message Down Under, which Aboriginal people claimed was deeply offensive.

In a interview with SBS Radio from New York, Morgan broke down and said: "I would like to say that I'm terribly sorry and my sincere, my sincere apologies to any Australian Aboriginal person if I have offended them in any way.

"I think of them in only the highest ... please read this book ... with an open mind and see if there is anything. anything at all that is derogatory to your people, because it is not.

"I love them. and I wish them equal opportunity and the best."

The book claims to be a true account of Ms Morgan's journey through the central Australian desert with a group of Aboriginal people.

But Aboriginal people have called it an insulting hoax, claiming that they cannot find any evidence that Morgan's journey actually took place nor anyone who met her when she was in Australia.

A group of Western Australian Aboriginal elders, funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, flew out of Australia yesterday to Los Angeles to put their views to Americans, who have made the book a best seller.

Tribal elder Ming Lee said of the book: "Is there nothing sacred? Do we not have anything left? I think it's horrendous that she has gotten away with this.

In the book, Ms Morgan claimed to have travelled with the "Real People" in Central Australia and was taught how to transform her body from human form into another form of life and other alleged Aboriginal secrets.

She also claimed to be a messenger for the Aboriginal people.

However, Morgan now claims the book was fictional but was inspired by an actual event.

"People have asked me to prove who I was with, where I was and so forth. Do I know for certain I was with Aborigines?" she told SBS Radio announcer, Pani Garcia.

The book continues to sell in the US, Japan and Australia and Hollywood is considering a film based on the story.

From The Weekend Australian, Jan 27-28, 1996, pg. 11

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