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Debunking Roy Littlesun

by Thomas Francis

Part of a letter originally addressed to the senior editor of Macrobiotics Today in September, 1991

I write to you regarding a matter of great importance to the traditional Hopis and to everyone concerned with the success of their work in our present age. The cover article on Hopi in the July/August issue of your magazine is part of an unfortunate fraud. You were not informed, and the task of telling you about it falls to me.

Roy Steevensz [aka Littlesun] appears to be brilliant. I would also call him criminally insane, since he is so deluded that he cannot see his crimes for what they are. This makes it difficult to bring him to justice, and so long as he is not brought to justice, the havoc he produces expands beyond belief. His conjunction of brilliance and delusion brings the greatest harm precisely where the greatest life-saving miracles would otherwise be possible.

Corn, given to the Hopi by the Creator as their main food, plus a wide variety of beans, squash, melons, very potent leaves, seeds and roots, and such wild meat as could be chased on foot with a stick or an arrow, produced a people who thought nothing of running more than a hundred miles in a day. From their villages in what is temporarily called Arizona they would run all the way to the west coast to gather salt. In recent times they would run to Winslow in the morning and be back by nightfall, a 120-mile round trip, to deliver messages, or just to watch the train go by.

The greatest product of the Hopi culture is not just athletes, but an oral tradition that holds the keys to the seemingly insoluble problems that threaten the human species, and a way of life capable of passing through the coming world change into an era of universal peace. The original Hopi Way has almost been destroyed.

After a century of forced acculturation, the Hopi eat less and less of their original food. While they lament the destruction of their culture, and urge us recent immigrants to release them from the dominion of the culture we live from, they degenerate right in front of us, making it almost impossible to accomplish that release.

Without recognizing food as the major key to cultural endurance, all efforts to free them are bound to fail. Yet they are astonishingly deaf to any mention of food as medicine. The only Hopi I have seen take a serious interest is the one shown next to Roy on the cover of your magazine, Titus Q÷mayemptewa. He had to be run over by a truck before he would listen. Prior to that, he never recognized the destructive effects of modern foods on his life.

When Roy came on the scene, I thought he was a godsend. I watched him enable Titus to hear, walk and talk within a week. As other Hopis noticed the change, a natural interest began to develop. The worst obstacle to the Hopi Path seemed ready to give way.

When someone heals a real Hopi, a major spiritual relationship is established. This makes it all the more tragic that Roy only used his healing of Titus to put himself in charge of an exclusive self-empowerment scheme... The truth is that Roy, because of the great turmoil he brought to the Hopi community, had already been evicted (an extremely rare occurrence among these extraordinarily hospitable people) well in advance of that article in your magazine, which he ends with the incredible lie, " seems now my presence is acceptable."

Roy has done more damage to Hopi than anyone else I have known in twenty-five years of close involvement. He has not only destroyed the opportunity he himself opened for renewed understanding of applying universal laws to their diet, and muddied the waters for others who might help, but also disrupted the delicate social fabric that could have supported his efforts and influenced the entire community of aboriginal nations across this continent.

Time and again I explained to him that individual consciousness is nothing compared to the awareness that is the living Hopi community. The spiritual unity that harmonizes the community without police is the miracle called Hopi. Without this miracle, which is everyone's birthright, humans can only rely on the instruments of eventual self-annihilation: man-made laws backed by force.

I explained to Roy that certain key individuals and matrilineal clans comprise the last vestige of that Creator-linked harmony, which was established over the centuries by fitting several migrating clans into a spiritual union. I told him that by winning their respect he could benefit the whole village, the whole Hopi nation, and the whole web of aboriginal nations. I wrote an essay, entitled Restoring the Roots of Peace, with the hope of supporting what could have been an honest and successful enterprise. But, despite persistent warnings, Roy ran afoul of these important connections.

Having witnessed the improvement in Titus, Caroline Tawangyawma, his clan sister, asked for advice. Roy could have healed her if he had been patient and respectful. Instead, he alienated her and never saw fit to regain her respect. Caroline's potential support was one of Roy's most valuable assets, but he said he thought she had too many personality flaws. It is now apparent that he was looking for the perfect Hopi to put in his pocket and use for his own ill-conceived ends, and she sensed his ploy from the start.

Early on, when I asked Caroline how Roy was doing, she said, "He's trying to take over the village and turn us all into vegetarians." I told Roy that he had better clear up the confusion right away, but he ignored it. [Shortly thereafter, Caroline moved to Tucson (over 300 miles from her village) to be cared for by her daughter and to be handy to a hospital where she could get kidney dialysis. She passed on in 1996.]

The loss of Caroline from Hotevilla was a terrible setback; her home was one of a few where friends of the last remaining loyalists of Yukiuma, the founder of the village, could always find a ready welcome. That home is now closed. When I drive into Hotevilla and consider where to park my car without intruding, I sense the damage Roy has caused.

Today, Yukiuma's followers are despised as "black sheep" amidst the confused flirtation with modern ways that now dominates the life of the village. The covenant they keep is the foundation of the Hopi Way -- a key to world peace.

When Roy first asked me to accompany him to Hopi [August of 1988], it was to arrange a meeting with elders I knew. He wanted to bring the spiritual energy of Hopi to the border between Iran and Iraq, in order to "balance East and West." The meeting took place in Caroline's house. The elders said there is no way they could give Roy that energy, he must get it the way they did. Caroline's advice was "Tune in! That's how we got it." But Roy never "tuned in."

The most important thing to know about Hopi is that their whole society is part of a divine plan laid out long ago. To come with plans of one's own is to guarantee failure. When Caroline said tune in, she meant one must intuitively discern how to fit into that original divine pattern. I saw how Roy could fit in perfectly, and devoted enormous personal energy to helping him succeed. All he needed to do was quietly continue helping Titus, farm the fields Titus offered (a priceless opportunity) and share his knowledge about food. I have reason to think plenty of funding would have been available to enable him to proceed on an honest basis. Instead, trusting in deception, he tried to carry out his own plans, and ruined everything.

To sense the magnitude of Roy's blunders, one glance at the Prophecy Rock petroglyph reveals the sort of negative reprisal Roy invites into the most sacred strongholds. An obscenity directed toward Roy was gouged deeply into this major cultural treasure by two drunken Hopis who resented his presence. Had he respected the dynamic of the Hopi community, he would not have attracted this.

The complete story of Roy's mistakes would fill a book. Of immediate concern is the fact that the article in your magazine is the latest in his long series of frauds. People who read it might be moved to support him, thinking it will help the Hopi. Let them be forewarned! Roy can use this article to help gain the appearance of legitimacy for the sake of future funding, in the name of Hopi, which will never reach the Hopi at all, nor serve their purpose, while legitimate efforts are deprived of much needed support.

Roy's newsletter, called HOPI and Planetary Friends, has never been approved by the traditional Hopi. He defends this misuse of the name Hopi on the premise that "the teachings are universal." If they are universal, he does not need the name Hopi; it's just an easy magnet for support. As with the magazine article, he is defrauding the public through this newsletter.

Well after his eviction, Roy went on the radio in Sedona to promote a seminar he wanted to hold. On the poster advertising the radio interview, he is called a "Hopi ambassador." Even before his eviction this would have been a travesty. Following it, the lie is doubled. As he constantly preaches about truth and justice, such self-promoting deceits make one wonder whether he has the vaguest notion of what it means to be truthful or just.

The March 31, 1991 letter to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, which Roy included in his second issue of HOPI and Planetary Friends, is an example of his misguided experiments. The purpose was to eliminate the influence of the United States government upon the Hopi, especially the puppet government the U.S. set up, called the Hopi Tribal Council [the federal entity called "Hopi Tribe"]. Like the article in your magazine, the letter states many truths, but is falsely conceived. It totally backfired. The BIA simply hit the newswires with a pronouncement that if the Hopi want to get rid of "their" Tribal Council, they must do it through the Council itself.

The letter was drafted by Roy and signed by Manuel Hoyungowa. Now Manuel knows better than to trust Roy. The fiasco in the news media resulted because Roy acted without consulting those better versed in these affairs, and with no sense of Tao. He knows only trial-and-error. Even now, after the letter has failed in its intended effect, Roy publishes it in a way that holds no possibility of success, in a newsletter falsely named "HOPI" that is in fact just a shot in the dark from Roy.

General Tang Zi-Chang's translation of Sun Tzu's The Art of War emphasizes the importance of "Supreme Strategy," which brings about a Perfect Victory without a battle by showing the adversary that his advantage rests in alliance rather than opposition. The Hopi see military affairs as subject to the far greater forces of creation, but the same principle applies. Most important, a Perfect Victory cannot be accomplished through trial-and-error thinking. One must know and follow the Tao. This Atomic Age will not allow humans to continue in this world on the basis of trial-and-error judgment.

Thus I have come to see the wisdom of the prophetic instructions of the Hotevilla Hopi, which is that their main "weapon" would be simple act of informing every individual opposing the Hopi Way. The Purification will take care of those who do not mend their ways. The point is that we must reach into the hearts of those responsible for killing the Hopi Way. Roy's letter is no more than an infantile scream for what he calls "JUSTICE." It is not Supreme Strategy. It did not reach the hearts of the officials in question nor make evident why they ought to join forces with the Hopi, but left them with the apparent advantage of confusing the public for profit, which is exactly what they did. This misguided onslaught has set the traditional Hopi back a great deal.

In using the name of Hopi, Roy perpetuates his pattern of exploitation by taking a ride on the energy of others. For example, Roy's newsletter also includes my essay, The Essence of Hopi Prophecy, which I allow to be copied by anyone so long as nothing is added or deleted. Roy deleted the concluding paragraph, plus my statement on publication rights, and the address of The Planting Stick Project, from which I distribute this and other Hopi information. This is an improvement on his prior practice of deleting even my name from this essay, as well as from a photocopy of my 32-page booklet, The Hopi Story, and using these items for his own advantage. By cutting off my address, he cuts me off from the response of my own readers, while using my name to boost his credibility.

I think you can see from this that it would not be untrue to call Roy a liar and a thief. But that is not enough. He is schizophrenic -- virtually incapable of discerning the relevant truth about what he is doing. When confronted firmly, he smirks, goes blank, or goes into a state of shock. Worse, he persists in running rampant through the world purveying an ever-refined version of his lie to the uninformed. Now at least you are not among the uninformed. But how to stop the spread of the lie among those who read his sweet personal whitewash in your magazine?

At first, hoping he would see the truth and change, I was hesitant to "shoot him down" in public and confined my efforts to persistent personal warnings... Now that it can't hurt Titus, I am unhesitant to publicly demolish Roy's fraud, and I hope it can be done in a way that will bring to your readers, if not to Roy, a better awareness of our relation to the world of our aboriginal hosts.

Roy's stated ideals are very high, and very vital. He offered a refreshing change, but could not deliver what he promised. The question is, how to work the Supreme Strategy on Roy? Is there any way his talent and energy can be harmonized? Can his path of exploitation at least be stopped? Please think this over carefully.

Thomas Francis -