Newspaper article #4
Disgraced Author Offends Again
A Californian woman who falsely claimed she spent four months in outback
Australia with a telepathic Aboriginal tribe has published a book on the
generations that has offended Aboriginal women with its description of private
Ms Marlo Morgan's latest novel, Message from Forever: a novel of Aboriginal
Wisdom, opens with a description of the birth of twins who would later
become two of the "stolen children''.
The chairwoman of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation, Ms Evelyn Scott,
said such a description would be highly offensive to many Aboriginal
Ms Morgan was forced to apologise to elders for claiming her self-published
Mutant Message Down Under, in which she told of a four-month trek with a
little-known tribe called the Real People, was a true story.
Publisher HarperCollins, which paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the
book's rights, had to make clear in the re-published version that it was
Although Ms Morgan does not claim Message from Forever is true, Ms Jo Willmot,
chairwoman of the Uluru-Kata Tjuta board of management in the
Northern Territory, said anyone who respected Aboriginal beliefs would not
have used such a description.
"It starts off as an Aboriginal woman giving birth,'' she said.
private women's business. For someone to (describe a birth) is insulting and
offending to people and their cultural beliefs.
"It is highly offensive to any group of people that they are falsely
misrepresented in respect to their people and their misery,'' she said.
someone else benefiting from it in a financial way.''
The novel tells of Aboriginal twins, born in outback Australia in the 1930s.
Separated at birth, the boy is adopted by a white rural family and the girl
to a Catholic mission.
The boy becomes an alcoholic and, in his mid-20s, is sentenced to life in
prison without parole for a double murder he did not commit. The girl is
molested by a priest, forced to have a hysterectomy at the age of nine, and
sent to work at a boarding house. She later returns to the desert to live with
the Real People tribe.
Ms Scott said it was another example of people jumping on the bandwagon of
exploiting Aboriginal culture for their own gain. "If you look at the
look at the culture of Aboriginal people, it has all been exploited and bastardized,'' she said.
HarperCollins has not returned phone calls to The Age this week.