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Mutant Message Down Under

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Mutant Message Down Under is the fictional account of an American woman's spiritual odyssey through outback Australia. An underground bestseller in its original self-published edition, Marlo Morgan's powerful tale of challenge and endurance has a message for us all.

Summoned by a remote tribe of nomadic Aborigines to accompany them on walkabout, the woman makes a four-month-long journey and learns how they thrive in natural harmony with the plants and animals that exist in the rugged lands of Australia's bush. From the first day of her adventure, Morgan is challenged by the physical requirements of the journey—she faces daily tests of her endurance, challenges that ultimately contribute to her personal transformation.

By traveling with this extraordinary community, Morgan becomes a witness to their essential way of being in a world based on the ancient wisdom and philosophy of a culture that is more than 50,000 years old.

187 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 1990

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About the author

Marlo Morgan

12 books105 followers
Marlo Morgan is a controversial American novelist best known for her book Mutant Message Down Under concerning Aboriginal Australians, a book which was originally promoted as nonfiction but has since been republished as fiction.

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Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,567 reviews55.5k followers
June 14, 2021
Mutant Message Down Under, Marlo Morgan

Marlo Morgan (born September 29, 1937) is an American author, best known for the bestselling book Mutant Message Down Under.

She has also written Message from Forever (1998), another novel based on Australian Aboriginal themes.

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.

Marlo Morgan self-published this book in 1990, which purported to chronicle 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.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روز بیست و یکم ماه ژانویه سال 2010میلادی

عنوان: پیام گم گشته؛ نویسنده: مارلو مورگان؛ مترجم: فرناز فرود؛ ویراستار: مهرداد فلاح؛ تهران، کتاب آوند دانش، 1388، در214ص؛ موضوع عرفان بومیان استرالیا از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا- سده 20م

مردمان قبیله ای بیابان‌ نشین، در «استرالیا»، که خود را «مردمان حقیقی» می‌خوانند، از یک زن «آمریکایی» دعوت می‌کنند، تا در سفری چهار ماهه، در بیابان، آنها را همراهی کند؛ زن «آمریکایی» با پیاده روی 2500کیلومتری، با پاهای برهنه، شیوه ی نوینی، برای زندگی، و شفاگری می‌آموزد؛

کتاب پیام می‌دهد: (هنوز امکان نجات جهان وجود دارد؛ به شرط آنکه متوجه شویم، همه ی موجودات، بخشی از یگانه‌ ی در همه جا حاضر، هستند)؛

نویسنده می‌گویند: (انسانهای امروز، به جای آنکه حقیقت را زندگی کنند، اجازه می‌دهند، قوانین هستی، زیر مخلوطی از رفاه، مادی‌ گرایی، و ناامنی، پنهان شوند...؛ هدف از گذر زمان این است، که به شخص فرصت داده شود، تا بهتر و فرزانه‌ تر گردد...؛ تنها راه پیروزی در آزمون زندگی، گذراندن آن است)؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 23/03/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Michelle.
9 reviews
January 28, 2019
Revised - Amazing what focusing only on how good something made you feel can block you from the fact that it is harmful to others. That is never ok. I retract my 5 star review of this book after reading how hurtful it was to the Aboriginal people and how hard they worked to remove it, only to have us continue praising it.

Dr. John Stanton (Berndt Museum of Anthropology, WA) “said the book contained misleading and damaging information about Aboriginal people."

Source: https://www.creativespirits.info/reso...

I have grown even more and will continue informing myself instead of immediately praising privileged white people who appropriate our cultures.
Profile Image for Mehmet.
Author 2 books410 followers
Read
February 10, 2022
Henüz lise çağımda okuduğum bu kitaba bu kadar düşük puan vermemin nedeni, -zira bir dönemler son derece tutulan bir kitap olduğu için açıklama gereği duydum- kitabın "uydurma" olduğu yönündeki tartışmaların mide bulandırıcı olmasıdır.
Aborjin toplulukları bu kitapta anlatılanların uydurma olduğunu, kendi kültürlerinin aslında böyle olmadığını iddia ederek kampanyalar düzenlemişlerdir.

90'lı yılların başında Dumbartung Aborjin Topluluğu'nun dikkatini çekince kitap, Aborjinlerin ve Çevre Adaların topluluklarınca oluşturulan bir komisyon tarafından incelemeye alınmış, yapılan incelemede bu kitapta yaşanan olayların gerçekleşmediği, bu olaylara uygun bir ortamın hatta kültürün dahi bulunmadığı raporlanmıştır. Komisyon bunların hayal gücüne ait olduğunu ortaya çıkarınca bir grup Aborjin ABD'ye giderek bu kitap aleyhine kampanyalar düzenlemiştir.
Bunlardan ötürü Marlo Morgan, SBS Radyo'da Aborjin topluluklarından özür dilemiştir.

Sözkonusu rapor için:
http://dumbartung.org.au/report1.html

Aborjin topluluğunun izole edilmiş masumiyetine, mahremiyetine rahatsızlık verip, bunları paraya çevirmek adına tüketim toplumunun bir objesi haline getirdiği için kitaplığımdan çıkardım.

Sonraki baskılarda yazar bunun kurgu olduğunu kitaplarına ekletmiş veya yayın evlerince bu yönde eklemeler yapılmış olabilir.
Kitap ilk çıktığında yazar bunların gerçek olduğunu iddia ediyordu ve her nasılsa kimsenin çıkıp da doğruluğunu araştırmayacağına inanıyordu.

Bu insanları inciten bir sürece, bu kitabı satın alarak ve okuyarak alet olduğum için ayrıca da pişmanlık duyuyorum.
Profile Image for Maria Clara.
964 reviews479 followers
September 12, 2020
4.5/Realmente he disfrutado mucho con este libro! Aunque no estoy muy segura de que "disfrutar" sea la palabra exacta para definir esta lectura. ¿Os imagináis a una mujer arreglada, con talones, dispuesta a recibir un reconocimiento por su labor, perdida de repente en el desierto? Pues bien, esta es la premisa con la que comienza esta fascinante novela, que te mantiene pegada a sus páginas hasta el final.
Profile Image for Raquel.
34 reviews
November 26, 2008
The story piqued my interest and the book came recommended from my sister. What a disappointment. First of all, Marlo Morgan's claims are way off kilter. Secondly, her writing is as good as mine was in the third grade. I do give her points for trying to convey peaceful, happy, self-centering messages, but overall the book is a flop.

After reading the book I researched Marlo Morgan and found out that she merely worked for four months in a pharmacy in Queensland, came back to the United States and started selling Melaleuca, a tea tree oil based product. She began supplementing and boosting her sales by handing out manuscripts of her "experiences" with Aboriginals and the healing powers of tea tree oil. I think she merely found a way to make big bucks on a hugely fabricated story.
Profile Image for Allyson.
9 reviews2 followers
Read
November 5, 2007
This book is one of the most offensive pieces of tripe I have ever read. Apart from being appallingly written, her white cultural superiority is difficult to ignore and her misappropriation and lies about the culture and heritage of Australian Indigenous people is horrifying. Her romanticism of a proud culture is nauseating and if anything, only serves to perpetuate the orientalist myth of 'other'.

Ignore this book and any other books she may have written giving 'insight' into Australian Indigenous ways of life.

What a fraud....
Profile Image for Emily.
452 reviews23 followers
September 20, 2008
I have read this book three times in my life. The first time I had no expectations. With the second and third (this time) reading I had the thought that the book would be stupid and hokey. But oh man, I love it. It totally makes me want to clean out my house and get rid of all my stuff so that I can just enjoy life and the moment.

The author gets semi-kidnapped by some Australian Aborigines. They go on walk-about across the Outback. I feel my skin getting pink and sunburny just thinking about it!

The people in the book ate giant spiders at one point. They were very thankful to the universe for that gift of nourishment. The same morning that I read that chapter, I saw a giant spider in my bathroom. I have some spider traps. They are cardboard with SUPER sticky goo on one side. The package said that it could catch not just spiders, but also snakes. I don’t have a snake problem in my house, but now I know for sure that I never will. So the spiders (or snakes) run (slither) onto the goo and get stuck.

So this morning, I found the spider and I got all freaked out and herded the spider into the trap. He was obviously trying to run away from me, the big evil giant, and rightly so because I was indeed trying to kill him (her?). Thinking about the aborigines made me feel super ungrateful, so I ate the spider to make up for it.

Ok, no, I didn’t eat the spider. But I feel real bad about it. I can’t get him off the sticky stuff without breaking his legs or touching him. Breaking his legs=bad for him. Touching him=bad for me. So, I have to let him die. That way at least one of us (me) comes out ahead. Maybe I should catch some fruit flies and feed him so that he doesn’t starve to death. Maybe I could feed him until he just died of spider-old-age. How long do you think that would be?
Profile Image for Corrie.
205 reviews
August 21, 2009
I was uneasy about this book. I've spent a lot of time researching Australian Aboriginal cultures, and there were a lot of things described in this book that seemed fabricated. It really reminded me of Kabul Beauty School.

The things that I learned from the book I was surprised about so I looked them up and found them to be inaccurate.

The book has been rejected by the Australian Aborigines as an offensive and misleading book and Marlo Morgan has admitted that the story is fictional. Yet, the book is still being published and there is nothing within that proclaims it to be fictional. Instead it is labeled as a memoir of her experiences.

Please don't read the book...it is just misleading. I'd recommend Bruce Chatwin's Songlines or Rabbit Proof Fence (2002 film) for entertaining and enlightening information on Australian Aborigines. Otherwise there are several excellent texts that provide much more accurate information.
Profile Image for Heather.
4 reviews2 followers
Want to read
May 10, 2012
I just got an unpleasant education. After seeing reviews here stating this book is full of untruths and misrepresentations of the Aboriginal people, I cruised the web in search of more information. I discovered that this book is anything but a harmless fantasy story. Though published as a novel, the wording of the author's note is designed to lead the reader to think the content of the book is representative of Aboriginals and their lives and culture. The half-truths and outright lies in this book have greatly angered and offended the peoples of the Dumbartung Aboriginal Corporation and other communities throughout Australia. Marlo Morgan condescends, lies about, and violates the sacred laws of the Aboriginal people in the name of making money on her book.

I am ashamed to admit I liked this book a lot when I first read it about ten years ago. I'm quite annoyed now and though I will give the book a re-read if only for the purpose of judging its merit as a work of fiction and to pick out the condescensions, stereotypes, misinformation and factual inaccuracies within.

More information can be found here: http://www.stelling.nl/simpos/marlo.htm
Profile Image for Peter Macinnis.
Author 62 books61 followers
February 16, 2009
This is a piece of complete bilge, a gross and grotesquely offensive attempt to misrepresent Australian Aboriginal culture. To call it a load of bollocks would be excessively polite. Please refer to http://dumbartung.org.au/ and follow the links, to find out what real Australian Aborigines think of this rubbish.
Profile Image for mussolet.
254 reviews42 followers
June 28, 2013
For this review I will disregard the fact that the journey with the Aborigines described by Marlo Morgan has been questioned a lot and may not have happened at all. (Although, if you want to read this, which I strongly suggest you don't do, please take note of the controversy surrounding this book!)

In fact, I might even have just given four stars and pointed that fact out to you, if the book had been good. The trouble is, Mutant Message Down Under isn't good. It is far, far from good.

One thing that really annoyed me was the protagonist herself.
If you plan to work in Australia for at least a few months, if not years, you've never thought of picking up a book about Australian history and the Aborigines before? Really?
If you think about helping young people to get off the streets, you then offer to teach them about businesses? As a doctor who is struggling to sell her own theories? Really?
If you have worked with young Aborigines before, and you then get invited to another Aboriginal tribe, you think it would impress them if you wore a brand new peach coloured costume with matching high-heels? Seriously???

If you can overlook these things (and really, it is quite hard to do), you are then confronted with a storytelling structure that doesn't exist, and a style of writing that is in parts unreadable.

However, it gets worse. That is, unless you love to read every selfhelp book there is, even the really bad ones. And don't mind reading every random and general advice over and over again.
One would have thought that, having travelled with people of such eye-opening wisdom and naming herself a travelling tongue, Marlo Morgan should have been able to describe which wonderful experiences and thoughts led her to beliefs such as "You shouldn't hide yourself from the world" or "It is important to look for the harmony within" or even "Don't put so much importance on things, look toward people and emotions instead". But no. Every short chapter has at least five of these (rather obvious) advices, and no explanation how her understanding, if she did indeed get it, came about.

Then again, perhaps I shouldn't have expected that much after "The coastal cities are very modern, with Hilton, Holiday Inn and Ramada Hotels" ...
Profile Image for Shannon.
29 reviews
September 25, 2007
this might be the worst book ever written. I know that it was somewhat controversial due to its content, but to be completely honest I couldn't even be bothered with the content. I've seen essays written by 5th graders with more of a grasp on English grammar. The poor writing quality was too much to get past so the content didn't even matter. I hardly even put a book down before it's finished... I made an exception for this one though! yuck.
Profile Image for Ali.
142 reviews1 follower
November 19, 2012
i wish i could give zero stars, but i think i have to give 1 star to pull down the average rating of this book.

my assessment of the book on it's own: it will make you think about the impact of materialism on modern life and hapiness if you can get past the author's simple voice and (i think unintentional) racisim. (fyi, people whose parents come from different ethnicities do not like to be called half-breeds or half-caste, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.)

my assessment of the book in the context that it is published as a novel but states repeatedly that the "fiction" claim is only for legal protection, and it was originally self-published as non-fiction: if this is the context, then i think validity is important. can it hold up as a non-ficiton account of an aboriginal tribe living in australia during the 1990s? absolutely not.

please see:
- the reports of the dumbartung group specifically concerning this book (http://dumbartung.org.au/)
- the dumbartung aboriginal corporation's main website (http://www.dumbartungaboriginalcorpor...)
- articles written by jon carroll for the san francisco chronicle about the book and unravelling of the hoax (http://www.sfgate.com/entertainment/c...)

final note: if you do read the book to think about big ideas, ponder the amount of money that the author has made from selling the publishing rights, the movie rights, and from writing follow up books. see if you can find a record of the amount of money she has given to aboriginal groups. (sf chronicle mentions a $100 check in 1996.)
111 reviews2 followers
December 7, 2007
This book changed my life. When I read this book, I couldn't put it down. I wanted to become an aboriginal person and learn how to live peacefully within the world. It blew my mind to think of a world without disease. This book opened up the possibility of what life could be, one where life did not constantly revolve around the next fear to conquer. Relaxing into the flow of the universe, I learned that all is truly well.
Profile Image for Nicky.
25 reviews11 followers
June 17, 2007
nice easy read but it sticks with you
Profile Image for Pat H.
19 reviews
January 30, 2015
Fortunately, I read a library copy of this book and never parted with my hard-earned cash because it's the worst book in the history of books. First, it's written at about the 3rd grade level. Second, it's a mishmash of fantasy pulled from other New Age material pandering to susceptible westerners. Third, the author perpetrated a huge con by claiming it was all true and hid behind her lawyers when confronted by anthropologists, Australians, and the Aboriginal People. The publisher (after first reaping a great deal of financial gain) was forced to re-classify it as fiction. They uphold the letter of the law but the disclaimers are still aimed at perpetuating the hoax. Her first publisher dumped her after discovering she was a con artist and her credentials were fabricated. Finally, I strongly suggest this well-written and thoroughly referenced critique by Cath Ellis at https://marlomorgan.wordpress.com/hel.... This book is insulting on so many levels.
Profile Image for Jenny (Reading Envy).
3,876 reviews3,027 followers
February 13, 2014
I read this years ago because my mother-in-law thought it was great. (Erp, sorry.)

It is one of those heightened, unrealistic spiritual accounts of a walkabout where the author discovers the connectedness of all things, even the flies that .

Profile Image for Momen ahmadi.
113 reviews26 followers
April 8, 2018
افراد یک قبیله بیابان نشین در استرالیا(ابوری جینی ها) که خود را مردم حقیقی میخوانند،از یک زن آمریکایی دعوت می کنند تا در سفری چهار ماهه در بیابانها،آنها را همراهی کند.
او در طی یک مسافت چهار ماهه ی بسیار طولانی در بیابانهای پر فراز و نشیب استرالیا با پاهای برهنه،شیوه ی تازه ای برای زندگی و شفاگری می آموزد که منجر به دگرگونی عمیق وی می شود.
در طی این سفر بومیان وی را (گم گشته) می نامند زیرا برای ارتقای روح خود حاظر به ترک دنیای مرفه خود داشت و مانند بسیاری از ما در این دنیا گم گشته بود!
در نگاه اول،وقتی مقالاتی درباره بومیان می خوانیم ،آنان را انسان های بدوی،تهی از تمدن ذهنی،قاتل،جادوگر و یا حتی آدمخوار به خاطر می آوریم،اما نویسنده ثابت می کند که آنکه در عین پیشرفت،گرسنه است خود ما هستیم و آنان با وجود شرایط زندگی بسیار معمولی،از نظام فکری بسیار بالاتری برخوردارند.

✳️برخی از عقاید معنوی این بومیان به قرار زیر است:

💎خردمندانه بخواه؛چون ممکن است هر چه میخواهی به دست آوری!!

💎هیچگاه نگویید هرگز...!
واژه هرگز امکانی برای تجربه شرایط تازه باقی نمی گذارد و دوره بسیار طولانی را در بر می گیرد!!!

💎هنگامی که در میان این بومیان کودکی به دنیا می آید،به او نامی می دهند،اما با رشد کودک آن نام بی معنی می شود و فرد نام مناسب تری برای خود برمیگزیند.به مرور زمان که خرد،خلاقیت و هدف شخصی در زندگی روشن تر می شود،نام او تغییر می کند.
یک نفر در زندگی ممکن است چند بار نام عوض کند...

💎تمام چیزهای روی زمین بنا بر دلیلی وجود دارند.هر چیزی هدفی دارد وهیچ پیشاند یا موحود نامناسب در جهان وجود ندارد.
فقط راز ها و رموزی برای بشر فانی وجود دارد که هنوز ناشناخته است.

💎مردم حقیقی(بومیان) گمان نمیکردند که صدا برای حرف زدن باشد!
زیرا این کار را می توان با کانون قلبی و فکری انجام داد!
اگر برای تبادل افکار،از صدا بهره ببریم ،گرفتار گفتوگوهای غیر ضروری و به نسبت غیر معنوی می شویم!

صدا برای آواز خواندن،جشن گرفتن و درمان به کار می رود!!

💎اگر انسان ها به جای درک چیزهای ناخوشایند،آنها را حذف کنند،نمی توانند به زندگی ادامه بدهند!هنگامی که لشکر مشکلات می آیند،ما تسلیم هستیم و می دانیم که هیچ چیز تصادفی نیست و شاید تو نیز آمادگی تسلیم شدن را بیابی!!

💎آنها (بومیان)عقیده دارند؛ما به جای آنکه حقیقت را زندگی کنیم،اجازه می دهیم که شرایط،وضعیت و قوانین هستی، زیر مخلوطی از رفاه و مادی گرایی و نا امنی پنهان شود!

💎آنها معتقد بودند:چیزها واقعا از بین نمی روند،بلکه تنها شکل عوض می کنند!!
انسانی که می میرد به خاک تبدیل می شود و خاک منبعی است برای گیاهانی که انسان های دیگر از آن تغذیه و تنفس می کنند!!

💎شادی،در جمع بزرگسالانی است که احساس مهم نشاط کودکی را فراموش نکرده اند،مانند فرار در زیر سایه یک ابر در صحرای داغ و کنایه زدن به ابر که باد چقدر آرام قدم بر میدارد!


💎هیچ کس آنقدر پیر نیست که فایده ای نداشته باشد..

💎کسب و کار حقیقی نیست��فقط یک توافق است.
اما اکنون هدف کسب و کار آن شده است که به هر طریقی و بدون در نظر گرفتن مردم،یا محصول و یا خدمات،آن را حفظ کرد...😔


💎هر روز افراد قبیله این کار را تکرار می کنند و به نوعی دعای صبحگاهی آنهاست..
اگر بالاترین خیر هستی و بالاترین خیر من در همه جا این است، بگذار بیاموزم...


💎معتقدند که یگانه مقدس نیت و احساسات موجودات را در نظر می گیرد و آنقدر که به دلایل کارها علاقه دارد، به خود کارها علاقه ندارد...

💎معتقدند که برای ما درک خدا دشوار است!
زیرا به شکل و هیبت معتاد شده اید...
یگانه مقدس،بی کران و سرشار از عشق است...

💎آنان معتقد به مالکیت زمین نیستند و معتقدند که زمین متعلق به همه کس و همه چیز است.
مالکیت،نهایت طرد دیگران به منظور لذت جویی و خودخواهی است.
راه حقیقی انسانها همدلی و سهیم شدن است..


💎آنها عمیقا معتقدند که یگانه مقدس،هیچ گونه درد و رنجی را برای هیچ مخلوقی خواهان نیست.
مگر آنکه آن مخلوق خود آن را بخواهد...


آنان از آینده زمین بسیار نگران هستند و احترام بسیار ویژه ای به طبیعت دارند و حت�� آنرا مادر بزرگ می خوانند.
آنان در پیامی که به مردم جهان دارند اعلام می کنند که زمین بر اثر خودخواهی و زیاده خواهی انسان های گم گشته در حال نابودی است.
آنان دیگر تحمل ظلم و گم گشتگی ما را ندارند و تصمیم گرفته اند که دیگر تولید مثل نکنند و با مرگ جوانترین نفر این قبیله ،نسل آنها نیز به پایان خواهد رسید و همه آنها این جسمهای سنگین را ترک و به وجود ابدی خود می پیوندند...

راستی که چقدر گم گشته ایم....
1,055 reviews88 followers
March 20, 2019
The Magic of Oz……….without L. Frank

If you believe this wacky tale of Castaneda-like imbibing of “esoteric native knowledge and spiritual wisdom”, then I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn I wanna sell ya. Ms. Morgan probably never visited Australia---maybe she trolled the net to gather her few facts. She recognized the discrimination suffered by Aborigines, but did not get anywhere close to recognizing the depth of the problem. She conveniently “lost” all her possessions both at the start and at the end of her purported initiatory trek across the red continent, so there’s nothing to show that she actually spent several months with a group of mysterious and mystical Aborigines. These Aborigines she claims to have accompanied “did not allow her” to give any information about the whereabouts of her trek. On the other hand a lot of the knowledge she claims changed her life is the same stuff of a thousand guru wannabes and pseudo-Native American wise men. This stuff is “Marlo’s Excellent Adventure” material. Or else you can just intone “n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n-n” and like, whoa, dude, you’re Enlightened !
Sample dialogue: Female Healer “Do you understand how long forever is?”
Author “Yes, I understand.”
Her use of “koala bear” sums it up [nobody in Australia ever says this], but sorry …….. I’ve gotta go take my fish for a walk.
Profile Image for Deborah.
187 reviews77 followers
March 20, 2017
Horrible, exploitative, racist rubbish. Insulting to Aboriginal people and their varied, ancient, living, changing, thriving cultures and knowledge.

The only positive thing about this book is that hopefully anyone who reads it or reads about it will realise it's yet another example of cultural genocide, and will look for books by Aboriginal writers instead.

Or, if you really want to read a white writer's book about Aboriginal people, try Henry Reynolds' Why Weren't We Told.
Profile Image for Beth F.
352 reviews321 followers
March 9, 2011
The narrator of this book is a middle-aged American woman who is kidnapped by a group of nomadic Aborigines and taken on a several-months-long walkabout through the Australian bush. The resulting story is a narration of her experiences with skin exposure to the elements, eating bugs and worms and experiencing unexpected spiritual growth with a group of people who are the opposite of herself. When it was first published, the book was presented as a non-fictional memoir. Except resulting criticism from experts show the story to be a gross misrepresentation of Australian Aboriginal culture and the response from Aboriginal people is that the book is not only a blatantly fictional account, but also offensive and racist. At this point in time, the general consensus indicates that the book is merely the product of the author’s imagination, although the author continues to maintain the fact that it is a truthful account.

I chose to read the book as fiction and was struck by it on two levels. First, as a student of sociology I was utterly fascinated by the methodology specifically because so many presume it to be a complete fake. And secondly, as a mutant (a white person), I couldn’t help but feel sucker-punched by some of the observations made by the narrator. For example, this passage especially hit me close to home -

“Certainly mingling in the center is the position most Americans seem to lean toward. Not too rich, not too poor. Not deathly ill, but never quite healthy. Not morally pure, but somewhere short of serious crime. And sooner or later we must step out in faith. We must lead, if only to become responsible for ourselves.” (p. 131)

Reading that passage forced me to acknowledge that I’ve been sitting on a fence for years and merely existing in the middle rather than grasping life fully and becoming responsible for myself. I am fully entrenched in the rat race and even though I’m not happy about it, I’m not in a position to help myself at this point in time. It’s the old “can’t see the forest because of the trees” adage. Sad, isn’t it?

Anyway, three stars. Even though the descriptions of the Aboriginal people in this book may be a hindrance to gaining actual knowledge about their culture, the book made me think so I can’t rate it poorly. And yet I can’t gush about it because there’s a greater part of me that wishes the author would have chosen a more legitimate means of addressing the spiritually bereft American psyche without insulting a group of people and adding fuel to the race fire.
Profile Image for Nea.
162 reviews154 followers
February 3, 2015
Marlo Morgan is certainly not a spectacular writer, but there is great wisdom in her message. She highlights the many flaws in our ways of life: our attachments to "stuff," competition with each other, insecurity, excess, greed, waste, mental enslavement, abuse of Earth's resources, lack of true spirituality, and so much more. These are all things worth thinking about and improving as we attempt to awaken from the illusions. However, I'm not sure how to feel about the book's delivery.

What the book tells us:
The author, Marlo Morgan, was summoned to Australia under the premise of learning about Aboriginal culture; but she ended up getting somewhat tricked into a deeply transforming walkabout through the desert with an unheard of tribe of aboriginals.

This group, The Real People, remained hidden from the government and travelers for many generations, refusing to entrust anyone with their knowledge, gifts, secrets and whereabouts. Nonetheless, they choose to share everything they know and have with this one particular woman, Marlo, who happens to be American and as white as the oppressors who pushed the Real People into hiding. Critics, of course, say this is a major reason to doubt the story.

My understanding is that Marlo Morgan claims this book to be a truthful memoir marketed as fiction in order to protect the Real People from invasion or other negative consequences. Obviously, none of this can be verified because the tribe lives deep in the desert where "mutant" humans (including other aboriginals) cannot find them. They won't surface or communicate with anyone except Marlo, which means we just have to take her word for it. Or not.

If this book is indeed an accurate account of the author's experience in Australia, it is absolutely fascinating. If not, she has a great imagination and I like her outlook on the woes in our world. Yes, I have a problem with supporting authors who make false claims; but I won't dwell on something that I can't prove or disprove. I walk away from this book with plenty to ponder and a slew of reasons to look at my own life rather than focusing on the root of the wisdom brought before me.

Profile Image for Stephen.
Author 5 books28 followers
April 9, 2009
A friend recommended this book to me. She said, “Oh, you’re into this kind of transcendental, living in the woods, sitting around a campfire, eating with your fingers kind of mumbo-jumbo. I think you might like it.”

She was right. If you are one of those who believe indigenous, hunter-gatherer peoples have a certain innate wisdom that our culture dismisses or doesn’t value or has forgotten, then you might like it as well.

Cited as a complete work of fiction, “Mutant Message Down Under” follows the adventure of the author who is summoned to remote tribe of nomadic Aboriginals in Australia. The isolated group call themselves the "Real People," and they want the author to accompany them on a 1,400 mile, four-month long journey through the rugged desert Outback. Surprisingly, she does. (Well, wouldn’t you?) And while traveling barefoot with the nomadic group, she learns a new, simpler way of life, including their ancient methods of healing, based on the hand-me-down wisdom of their 50,000-year-old culture. (You have to learn a few things about survival in that length of time.) Ultimately, she experiences a dramatic personal transformation.

All of this seems perfectly plausible to me. And no, I don’t want to buy your swampland in Louisiana.

The tribe calls outsiders like you and me, “Mutants.” Among other things, the Real People believe that “Mutants can no longer live in the open environment; most die never knowing what it feels like to have stood naked in the rain. They spend their time in buildings with artificial heat and cooling, and suffer sunstroke out in normal temperatures.”

Mutants are materialistic. They surround themselves with things. Look for happiness in things. Work all their lives to buy things. Eventually, they are not living authentic lives, but living lives simply to acquire things.

In light of our current economic crisis, life in a purely materialist world doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Yes, my friend. I enjoyed the book.
Profile Image for Deborah Ideiosepius.
1,574 reviews124 followers
February 1, 2015
This book was given to me by a lovely but credulous woman (She also believed in the predictions of Ramtha; namely that in 1997 the Australian coast would be devastated by tidal waves). She gave it to me knowing I had travelled the region described in the book. I read it fairly soon after it was published and before the debunking began, yet it was very obvious to me VERY early on in the book that it was complete fabrication by someone who was to dumb to read up on the culture she was misrepresenting.

My original review; "Pathetic hogwash. It is a true indictment of the growing stupidity that this was:

A) Ever published.
B) Ever purchased.
C) Ever believed in any way.

I didn't pay so much as a five cent piece for it I am glad to say."

But I have expanded on my original review because to my horror people are still reading this book, still believing its insulting lies about Aboriginal culture and still paying the fraud who wrote it.

Please, do not pay money for this! Do not believe this idiocy has anything to do with Australia or Australians! It is solely a product of the authors diseased brain.
Profile Image for Julie.
7 reviews1 follower
May 25, 2008
This book is awesome! It's a non fiction about a woman who spends 3 months on a walkabout with Australian Aborigines. It will change your whole perception of American culture.
Profile Image for سیاوش.
216 reviews1 follower
January 4, 2017
مورگان در ابتدای کتاب میگه این کتاب براساس تجربه ی واقعی نوشته شده و به قول سامرست موام گفتن اینکه داستانی برای خودت پیش اومده باشه باور پذیرترش میکنه نسبت به اینکه فقط روایتگر باشی. مورگان بنا به دعوت یک قبیله ی بومی (برای شرکت در یک همایش) که اسم خودشون رو مردمان حقیقی گذاشته بودند به استرالیا میره و بعد طی مراسمی که برگزار میشه هر چیزی که همراه داره مثل دوربین و لباسهاش در آتش ریخته و سوزانده میشه (پس مورگان جز نوشتن داستان هیچ مدرکی نمیتونه ارائه بده که نشونه واقعی بودن این اتفاقات باشه) و بقول افراد قبیله پاک میشه که اشاره اییه به اولین درس که دل نبستن به اشیا و بعضی باورهاست.
بزرگ قبیله ازش میخواد با اونها به مدت سه ماه همراه بشه که بعدها مورگان میگه اونها از قبل اونو به عنوان یک پیام رسان انتخاب کردند و انتخاب شدنش اتفاقی نبوده.
"ما مرم حقیقی سیاره ی زمین را به زودی ترک خواهیم کرد. ما انتخاب کرده ایم که در باقی مانده فرصت خود در بالاترین سطح معنوی زندگی را بگذرانیم وتجرد را اختیار کرده ایم تا انضباط جسمانی را نشان دهیم و با در گذشت جوان ترین فرد قیبله, آخرین بازماندگان نژاد خالص بشر در زمین ناپدید میشوند."
خوندن تجربه های مورگان در این سفر, مثل تلپاتی افراد و قدرت شفا دادن و درک بالایی که از طبیعت و انسان دارند باعث میشه گاهی حس کنی اینها همه ش داستانه و نمیتونه واقعن اتفاق افتاده باشه اما چطور بی رحمی آدمها نسبت به هم قابل پذیرشه اما وجود مردمانی که استعداد خودشون رو کشف کردن, نژاد پرست نیستند و با همه با احترام رفتار میکنن و دروغ نمیگن سخته؟
خیلی افراد مورگان رو متهم کردند به دروغ بودن این داستان ولی به دو دلیل میشه این کتاب رو خوند و لذت برد.
اگه همه ی اتفاقات این کتاب داستان باشه بی اینکه در واقعیت اتفاق افتاده باشن داستان جذابی داره و اگه قراره پیامی از این کتاب دریافت بشه هم پیام رسایی داره.
قسمتی از کتاب
آیینه ای نبود که مرا بترساندو به واقعیت بازگرداند, میتوانستم زیبا بودن را تجربه و احساس کنم. بدیهی بود که زیبا نبودم, اما احساس زیبا بودن میکردم. ان افراد مرا همانگونه که بودم,میپذیرفتند. به تریج می اموختم که مورد پذیرش نام��روط قرار داشتن, چه حسی دارد. ص 94
لازم است که برخی اوقات عقاید, عادت ها, باورها و حتی دوست های قدیمی را کنار گذاشت. برخی اوقات رها کردن چیزها برای انسان دشوار است. مار پس از رها کردن پوست قدیمی اش, نه مهم تر می شود و نه کم اهمیت تر, بلکه این کار را بنا بر ضرورت انجام میدهد. برای ورود چیزهای جدید باید جا باز کرد. ص 125

Profile Image for Insouciantly.
118 reviews13 followers
May 11, 2011
First, I'd like to preface this review by saying I know absolutely nothing about real aboriginal culture or history. I can't possibly tell you what is fact and what is pure creation by the author. This book is aparently extremely controversial because while some people love it as the tale of a spiritual journey amongst a mysterious native population, other people say that the author didn't accurately portray the culture truthfully, and was actually blatantly offensive.

I also have no idea if the author actually wanted this book to be taken as a mostly true story, or as just an extensive metaphor, a spiritual fable. It is written in the style of a memoire, and the author writes that it is based on real events, but it is shelved as fiction. Personally, I think that if any of it is actually "based in reality," its really just an extrapolation of one night she spent camping in the desert and probably got a bit high. Wikipedia states that eventually she condeded that she made the story up, but... well... its wikipedia.

All of that said, I'm not going to evaluate this book on the intentions of its author, or the dubiousness of its origins, but only on the story and the message itself.

This is the story of a typical middle aged american woman who is on buisness in Australia teaching methods of wholistic healing (she mentions acupuncture, theraputic massage, etc). She is invited to a "meeting" by a native aboriginie, and she thinks its her big moment. She thinks she's going to be recognized for all the good work she's done trying to help the lower-income mixed race young adults. At heart she is a city woman, and she sits on her high horse expecting to receive a pretty little plaque, a big thank you, and maybe a lunch buffet with some "authentic cuisine."

Maybe predictable, she quickly finds out that true aboriginal culture isn't anything like she expected. Still dressed in her buisness suit, heels and make-up she's driven out to the edge of the desert, told to remove all her clothing, jewelry and belongings and instead put on a rag dress so that she can be cleansed. Which she does. They then burn all of it, tell her she's going on a walk-about across Australia to "become one, and experience true beingness," and promptly head out into the desert on foot. Which she does. She's afraid and confused, but she follows them, and naively expects to back in the city by check out time at her hotel tomorrow.

What ensues is three months worth of ramblings, physically across the width of Australia, and mentally through various memories she has and spiritual realizations she comes to. It turns out that native aborigines can communicate telepathically, can heal broken bones overnight, and perform illusions to either disappear from sight, or to make one man look like 50 men. What is also mentions, and that I believe may actually be closer to the true culture, is that they can find water nearly anywhere within the desert, can eat just about anything, and have been using natural remedies that are completely unique and unknown to the rest of the world to cure various health problems that keep them surviving and able-bodied to an incredibly old age.

Eventually she finds out that she really is on her way to a meeting, of sorts. When she was born, a similar spirit was born in the exact same moment on the exact opposite side of the earth. She and her kindred spirit made plans to meet again in 50 years and share their experiences. It was her destiny that brought her here. A destiny that even a mysterious fortune teller in the tea-shop in the city told her, but that she just didn't understand until this moment... Right. It turns out that her companion spirit is the tribal elder, and they share many different things about their cultures, finding similarities and differences in elaborate metaphors. My favorite one: "It seems Mutants [their names for non-aboriginies] have something in their life called gravy. They know the truth, but it is buried under thickening and spices of convenience, materialism, insecurity and fear. They also have something in their lives called frosting. It seems to represent how they spend almost all the seconds of their existence in doing superficial, artificial, temporary, pleasant-tasting, nice-appearing projects, and spend very few actual seonds of their lives developing their eternal beingness."

Eventually they share with her their true secret. The aboriginies are leaving the world. When they die, they will become one with the world, they already are one with the world. But the mutant world holds no place for them anymore, so they have stopped having children. They need her to go out into the world, and take to the rest of the Mutants a message, teach them the things she has learned about being and oneness and the true intent of the universe. And so she does.

To be perfectly honest, this book was not for me. I found it over-written, and over-moralizing. It was a soap box of very little support, and distinctly unbalanced and prone to wobbling. I don't entirely disagree with its message, as a culture we most definitely place too much emphasis on materialistic gain within the short frantic time-span of our own lives. But I believe that taken seriously, this is a fanaticism of the opposite extreme. Growth and change are good and necessary. As well as personal identity, ambition to create, and not to mention will to survive.

In the end, the main character gallops out of the outback on a higher horse than the one she rode in on (metaphorically of course, though she does describe her now calloused feet as "hooves" several times). She is distressed that the local Mutants she tells her story to seem uninteresed in her grand philosophies of reincarnation and the one-ness of the universe. She encounters meanness and uglieness in the world that she hasn't had to deal with in the last three months, but proves to herself that she has grown in "beingness" by not being hurt and instead blessing the person that wronged her. She makes her way home, to a family that wants to hear her story, and with a willingness to tell it to the world.

Basically, if I take this book too seriously, it bothers me very deeply. But if I take a step back, and instead look at the silliness of the adventure of it, at a woman in a situation she is utterly not prepared for but willing to take a go at, its not so bad. I think maybe this story would have been greatly improved if the author had not claimed it was based in reality from the beginning. If she had rather decided to create a completely fictional native culture on a completely fictional world, and instead focused on making the message a subtly built piece of art that didn't have to worry about offending anyone on the planet we already live on, it might have actually held more meaning. Instead I just felt like she was bashing me in the head with a two by four carved with the message "you suck! aborigines rule!" ... or maybe not quite that obviously violet. Maybe instead this book made me feel like I was walking down the street and a slightly graying middle aged new-age hippie is sitting under a tree. And she reaches out her hand, and tries to lure me close with "Come, come smoke pot with me and feel at one with the universe! Here, eat this worm, its good for you. The aboriginies do it! They're right about everything. They're One. They are Beingness. They're sooooooo smart and soooooo ancient. I remember this one time...."
Profile Image for Nuryta.
134 reviews3 followers
September 15, 2022
Un libro inquietante. La autora nos describe su experiencia con la tribu de los Auténticos, aborígenes nómadas de Australia, a los cuales se une en una travesía que ella pensaba sería de un día y que se extiende por mucho más tiempo, compartiendo sus costumbres y, ante todo, aprendiendo con ellos el arte de vivir en desapego a todo lo material que el mundo moderno nos ha obligado a atesorar.

Se trata de desprenderse de viejas ideas, costumbres, opiniones e incluso de viejos compañeros. Conseguir el equilibrio entre los elementos de la naturaleza, el respeto y cuidado de estos elementos para cumplir con la propia misión. Según se relata, esta tribu ha vivido por milenios en el mundo sin llegar a destruir los bosques, contaminar aguas, ni poner en peligro ninguna especie, todo lo contrario del “hombre civilizado”.

La mayor enseñanza que pretende dejar, es el saber valorar no los objetos o lo que representan, sino valorar realmente las experiencias, así como las emociones y los recuerdos que nos dejan. Solo pensemos que hacemos hoy en día en un evento importante, perdemos el tiempo grabándolo con el móvil, en lugar de disfrutar del momento, vivirlo y atesorar todo lo que nos hace sentir.

Al final, no sé si es ficción o realidad, lo que si me queda claro, es que con su viaje, me llevó a apreciar con mayor anhelo cada vivencia que se presenta.

Interesante lectura, recomendado.
Profile Image for Margery.
132 reviews
August 1, 2019
A good friend recommended this book, greatly enthusiastic about its spiritual message. I tried really, really hard to like it, therefore, and to ignore all the controversy about the author. Alas, I found the book to be overwritten, unbelievable, too moralistic, and, frankly, rather racist, albeit unintentionally. If the author had written a little pamphlet about the joy of being one with the universe, I might have been impressed. But this dreck is pathetic. And now I have to figure out how to tell my friend what I thought about the book! Oh, help.
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