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Old 05-13-2003, 07:25 AM   #1
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Psychologist lost all under the control of medicine man

http://www.journalstar.com/native.php?story_id=47150

Psychologist lost all under the control of medicine man
BY JODIRAVELEE / Lincoln Journal Star
Edwin Sause had full faith in his spiritual leader, a self-professed medicine man who claimed the ability to control flies and weather, to stand in fire and hold red-hot rocks.


The Metis medicine man also had an uncanny ability to control Sause.
The New York psychologist lost his pension fund.

He lost his wife.

He lost his sanity.

It all seems an unlikely path for Sause, described by his friends as articulate, intelligent, friendly and successful.

But Sause, 60, fell for the teachings of an unscrupulous medicine man.

"You're really talking about a sick dude here," said Sause, a licensed psychologist for 33 years. "Sociopath doesn't even describe it."

Sause, a non-Native, has made Native-based spirituality a part of his life for 15 years.

Lines can be blurred when the spiritual seeker is unfamiliar with traditional Native teachings.

If one ventures into another religious faith, it's best to know your teacher.

"You basically take your signals from your host, hoping that the host is relatively mainstream," said Martin Marty, University of Chicago School of Divinity emeritus professor. "You don't want a radical."

Sause's teacher gradually took him on a "campaign of terror," he said, one that began four years ago when he met the Canadian Metis who practiced Lakota-based ceremonies.

The man could not be reached to comment on Sause's claims.

Another New Yorker, Joanne Cohon, met the medicine man nearly a decade ago and invited him into her circle of friends.

She became his apprentice, sharing her Manhattan apartment with him when he arrived from Canada.

She also helped recruit others to his sweat lodge ceremonies, where Sause met him.

Cohon cherished her place among a core group of the man's followers.

"I was willing to give up the potential of having a family, of getting married,"she said. "I was so devoted to this that I would have done anything.

"The role that he had me in the beginning was the role eventually Ed moved into," she said.

After the clan started to reject her, she moved to California.

And Sause took her place.

The medicine man moved into Sause's home, and into his wife's bedroom.

During this time, Sause said he was in denial about anything that seemed out of the ordinary.

He believed in the teacher.

"He had told so many truths and he was so charming," said Eileen Pray, who also attended sweat lodge ceremonies. "I don't think Edwin was the only person who was pulled in."

Sause said the medicine man drained his $250,000 pension fund and racked up $60,000 in credit card bills.

His wife left.

He considered suicide.

"At that point, he was just sitting in his house in a room debating if he should kill himself or check himself into a psychiatric hospital," said William Ryan, a psychologist and Sause's longtime friend.

Sause finally sought psychiatric care at the suggestion of one of his patients.

Still, he tried to go back to the clan. It ignored him.

"No one was to acknowledge his presence, which was distressing to him," said John Lieberman, a friend and fellow psychologist. "He considered the clan his family."

Lieberman and his wife invited Sause to live with them as he recovered from the two-week psychiatric hospitalization. Their 5-foot-7 friend had dropped from 165 to 140 pounds. His ponytail and beard were gone. He dressed differently.

"I didn't recognize him," Lieberman said.

Ryan said Sause was nearing a total breakdown when he and his wife later convinced Sause to stay with them for several months.

"Because of our experience in working with people with trauma -- in addition to the area of loving Ed -- we talked him through this whole trauma," Ryan said. "We worked as deprogrammers really for several months, almost 24 hours a day."

Sause was not mentally feeble, Ryan said.

"That's what people usually think ... this could only happen to someone who's a weak person, a dependent person. And that's totally inaccurate. It could happen to any person."

Today, Sause continues to participate in Native ceremonies because he doesn't want to give up something "so meaningful and powerful."

He has new teachers, a Cherokee and a Lenni Lenape who also practice Great Plains ceremonies.

He's rebuilding his business and even has some former clients.

"It seemed pretty dark there for awhile, that maybe he would not make it psychologically or physically,"Ryan said. "It's a hopeful thing. Actually, he's even stronger than he was before.

"But he's had to go through a hell of a lot to get there."

Reach Jodi Rave Lee at 402-473-7240 or [email protected]
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Old 05-13-2003, 09:43 AM   #2
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Some of the stuff people do to find "enlightenment", it's crazy! When i was reading this article, i didn't exactly know who to feel bad for.....it's like a double edge sword. You have this so called ndn guy tryin' to be a "medicine man" who is of course misusing our ways & will eventually meet his demise. (a lost follower, & probably an outcast from his society) Then you have this fool who's non-ndn wanting to practice our ways because thier so "meaningful and powerful" who is pretty much setting himself up for any potential danger or fraud.
I don't think it's wrong for people to be influenced by our ways & wanting to use them as a form of guidance, but i don't think it's appropriate for them to practice our traditions.......there are many things we can't share w/non-ndns. Many traditions that are sacred that have always been practiced by us.
This is a very unfortunate situation but hopefully someone will learn something from this..........especially the people involved.

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Old 05-13-2003, 10:22 AM   #3
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I agree - shame on that man who used this non-Native, but dang, this guy put all his faith in a MAN.

Both seemed lost to me. And the Non-Native sure did lose in the end. That's a helleva lesson.

The article never said if his wife left him to be with this medicine man. Things that make you go HMMMMMMMMMMMMM.
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Old 05-13-2003, 10:28 AM   #4
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I was wondering about the wife as well.........did you read the other article about the women who was convinced to sleep with the "medicine man" to save his children??? Sounds like a undercover pimp operation if ya ask me!!! Like you said, things that make ya go HMMMMMMMM!

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Old 05-13-2003, 10:34 AM   #5
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Yeah I saw that yesterday - man people are so smacked, they would do anything to fit in and be accepted - but if they would just learn to love themselves unconditionally - maybe they wouldn't be feeling that way. Sad folks, for real.
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Old 05-14-2003, 08:41 AM   #6
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Funny thing....read both stories about this "nut bar" psychologist (why are the docs always nuttier and sicker and more educated and easier to trick than their patients??) but there is no name mentioned in the article who the "Meti medicine man" is?

We need a name boys and girls?

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Old 05-14-2003, 09:09 AM   #7
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Hey I noticed that too - not really fair, eh? Maybe he never gave his name - just told everyone to call him MEDICINE MAN! Hey, don't laugh - I knew a guy who had MEDICINE MAN on his business card - for real! Bizarre folks out there!
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Old 05-14-2003, 11:14 AM   #8
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News agencies need to put these peoples names out in the open so we know who they are.
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Old 05-14-2003, 02:26 PM   #9
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all across the board, this story is too funny. cultism....?
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Old 05-14-2003, 03:24 PM   #10
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wierd

"Sause finally sought psychiatric care at the suggestion of one of his patients. "

One of his patients? I hope the patient charged him.

"Today, Sause continues to participate in Native ceremonies because he doesn't want to give up something "so meaningful and powerful."
He has new teachers, a Cherokee and a Lenni Lenape who also practice Great Plains ceremonies. "

Well he didn't learn anything from this experience.
Not once in the article did he accept any responsability for what happened to him, just blamed everything on the "sociopath".
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Old 05-14-2003, 11:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
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That's a helleva lesson.
Dang this should be required reading for all wannabes. Gah they should just accept who they are and how the creator made them.
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Old 05-15-2003, 03:57 AM   #12
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Re: wierd

Quote:
Originally posted by standstill
"
"Today, Sause continues to participate in Native ceremonies because he doesn't want to give up something "so meaningful and powerful."
He has new teachers, a Cherokee and a Lenni Lenape who also practice Great Plains ceremonies. "


HOLY COW... is this like an addiction??? Now he's learning and practicing with people who are'nt even of the ceremonies they are teaching? And the guy probably will never get it, that the only people that will teach him this stuff.. are'nt ligitmate teachers and are giving him wrong information. His license should be taken away from him.
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Old 05-15-2003, 07:15 AM   #13
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I think his "Spirit Animal Guide" must be a "JACKASS".
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Old 05-15-2003, 07:31 AM   #14
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Old 05-15-2003, 10:50 AM   #15
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I agree w/you singer dad, ndn country gets enuff bad press, I was suprised that the writer didn't make a point to change that, she's a native writer.
But then again, what sort of credentials does a medicine man carry for people to know wether they're lagit.......it's a crazy situation.
I was also suprised to see these "medicine men" of various native backgrounds praticing "medicine" of other cultures than those of thier own tribe......don't ya think that's a lil' SUSPECT in itself?

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