It is with great sadness that I announce that a friend, who behind the scenes, provided moral and editorial support for the People of One Fire website and then The Americas Revealed website has lost his long fight with bladder cancer. Jim was best known for his best-selling book, Lies My Teacher Told Me. He wrote several other outstanding books that also mixed sociology, history and folk wisdom.
Jim and I first met in 2012. He had run across news articles and press releases about the Track Rock Terrace Complex from the US Forest Service and Eastern Band of Cherokees that made him suspect that “something was rotten in Denmark.” He introduced himself by email and then by phone. I couldn’t believe that someone of his stature would be coming to bat for me. I had been homeless or at least in dire poverty for three years. He did though. Jim and his wife rode an Amtrack train from Washington, DC to Atlanta then rented a car to drive up to my cabin near Amicalola Falls and Dahlonega to counsel me and cheer me on. He had already discerned that the “Maya Myth Busting In the Mountains” cartel were manipulating conventional news media. It was Jim, who suggested that I create a permanent website as a platform for describing my research. He said your articles will be all over the internet long after conventional newspapers cease to exist.
That I did . . . but he also frequently also sent me criticisms, when he felt my grammar, spelling or syntax were not up to what I was capable of. The shift from narrowly focusing on regional Native American culture to the heritage of all of the Americas was also his suggestion. He said that Native Americans live in a multi-cultural world. They must learn how to thrive in it, not hide behind delusions of returning to a world that is gone with the wind.
I have known he was ailing for some time. About four years ago, he sent me a curt email, telling me he was dying within a few days and to unsubscribe him from The Americas Revealed. Then about three months later, he asked to be re-subscribed since he missed reading the free thinking writing of someone, who didn’t care what the powers-that-be in academia thought of him. Jim, we will miss you, but I promise that I will always seek to achieve and hopefully surpass the high standards that you set for me. Mvto for all that you have done for many repressed peoples.