Honoring and Protecting our Mother Earth

Working to Save Utah Lake

James Warren “Flaming Eagle” Mooney

James Warren Mooney, a former Mormon, is the founder of the controversial ONAC that openly provides peyote cere- monies for people without Native American descent. Mooney reports being told in 1988 by Oklevueha Chief and Medicine Woman Little Dove he was a descendant of both Osceola, the Seminole Indian chief, and the famed ethnologist James Mooney (1861–1921); these genealogical attributions would become a center of controversy.

James Warren Mooney, then a Mormon and successful businessman, was given to understand that he was called to carry Native American plant medicine to non-Indians, the particulars of which he was instructed to decide for himself (L. B. Buford, personal communication, May 6, 2019). In 1994, after a lengthy period of training with various Native American medicine people including Guadalupe Rio de la Cruz, a Huichol Medicine woman, Mooney, conducted NAC peyote sacrament ceremonies without regard to race. In 1997, Mooney founded the ONAC and in 2000 was excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints.

In 2001, Mooney’s home and new Church was raided by local law enforcement officials. In these places of worship, according to Mooney, they seized peyote amounting to over thirty pounds, representing about Dr10,000 dried peyote but- tons. Mooney and his wife, arraigned on charges of “a dozen counts of drug trafficking and one count of racketeering,” faced life in prison (Gehrke, 2001). The State of Utah contended that Mooney was not covered by the Federal Religious Peyote Exemption (21 C.F.R. § 1307.3) because he was not of Native American descent, nor a member of a federally recognized tribe. The trial resulted in James’ and his wife Linda’s conviction on multiple felony counts related to what was alleged to be a criminal enterprise based on distributing peyote within the context of their religious services. In 2003, the Mooney’s appealed the trial court’s     Kathryn Collard petitioned Judge Stott of the state of Utah 4th district Court, to dismiss all the indictments against Linda and James. Judge Stott denied dismissing the charges. Attorney Kathryn Collard appealed Judge Stotts decision not to dismiss the indictments to the Utah Supreme Court.

decision to the Utah Supreme Court who: “Reverse[d] the trial court’s decision : : : The state of Utah Supreme Court ruled unanimously to reverse Judge Stott decision in denying to dismiss all indictments for  the federal regulation does not restrict the exemption to members of federally recognized tribes. We therefore rule that the exemption is available to all members of the Native American Church” (State of Utah, 2004).   Because the state of Utah accepted the Federal Religious Peyote Exemption (21 C.F.R. § 1307.3) Prior to the Supreme Court decision 4 important legal issues became evidentially clear.

  1. The state of Utah (State of Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff) appealed the Supreme Court’s decision to the Federal 10thCircuit Court of Appeal.  The Court denied hearing the Appeal for the Supreme Court decision was based on Federal Law that was accepted by the state of Utah.
  2. After Mark Shurtleff appeal to the Circuit Court was denied, he immediately lied to the state of Utah legislators that the Supreme Court ruling deemed the state of Utah laws were out of step with Federal Laws.  Forest Cuch State of Utah Department of Indian Affairs with Mark Shurtleff influence gathered a multitude of Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Tribes to petition the state of Utah Congress to formulate a Bill of Attainder Law (an illegal Law that denies one person or a group of people of their civil liberties) https://www.deseret.com/2006/1/19/19933490/native-americans-seeking-backing-for-bill-to-limit-peyote-use, Which Passed by the House, Senate and signed into law by Governor Huntsman, against the advice of Lt. Governor Gary Hubert who actually signed the Bill for Governor Huntsman was out of the state.
  3. Because of these activities by Mark Shurtleff which are a clear violation of Federal Laws, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) interviewed James Mooney for more than 14 hours, over a period of a month, with a multitude of different FBI Agents, the last Agent was an LDS Church Bishop.  The purpose of these interviews was to persuade me to join in the already planned Federal Prosecution of Mark Shurtleff, in which he had yet been indicted for a variety of ‘state’ federal violations.  The FBI wanted James to join in with the state for my circumstances involved strictly ‘Federal ‘Violations (Depriving a Church of its civil liberties).  It was made aware to James that the state of Utah U.S. Attorney Generals office needed James’s federal issue to secure a conviction of Mark Shurtleff, for the FBI reasoned that without my federal Indictment the LDS Church would bail out Mark Shurtleff of the Federal ‘State’ violations.   James refused to join in with the state on the prosecution of Mark Shurtleff.  Thus, a month or so after this last FBI interview Mark Shurtleff was indicted and arrested.  A year or so after his arrest, all ‘state’ federal charges were dismissed.

Following this decision, the Utah District Attorney (Mark Shurtleff, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) John Echo Hawk and Native American Rights Fund (NARF) John Echo Hawk attempted succeeded to convince the federal government to prosecute James and Linda fraudulently developed Oklevueha Native American Church on similar charges related to peyote sacrament. The question in the government’s case against James Mooney was his claimed Native American descent. Unexpectedly, government-certified genetic testing revealed Mooney’s ethnicity: 58% European, 35% Native American, and 9% Sub-Saharan African. (Certificate of Ancestry, 2005). After 6 months of investigation by United States Federal Attorneys and Federal Investigators, the case against James and Linda Mooney resolved when the Mooney’s agreed to sign an agreement to allow the federal government to drop all charges prior to a Federal evidential hearing, so that the evidences acquired by Utah Federal Defenders Office, after more than 5 ½ months of investigation, discovered that the federal government was duped in being complicit in denying the Native American Church of its civil liberties since 1918 when James Warren ‘Flaming Eagle’ Mooney Great Grand-father James Mooney Smithsonian Institute Ethnologist incorporated the 1st Native American Church, would not become public record.* entered into a plea agreement. In conversation with one of the authors, Mooney believes that ONAC worldwide membership top well over 10,000.

* Settlement Agreement; United States of America, Plaintiff, James     

Mooney and Linda Mooney, Defendants, SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT,

Case No. 2:05 CR 410 TS, 02/22/2006

 

 

When James and Linda Mooney signed the settlement agreement, fourteenth day of February 2006, the stipulation for them to possess, distribute or facilitate the distribution of peyote to others and/or seek to acquire peyote from any authorized or unauthorized source had already been met.

            See 3 (b) a federal court has held in final judgment that federal drug laws do not preclude the possession, use, or distribution of peyote in the context of Native American Church ceremonies without regard to Native American ancestry or membership in a federally recognized tribe, or

 

United States v. Robert Boyll, Unanimous Ruling – May 10, 1990

“Nowhere is it even suggested that the exemption applies only to Indian members of the Native American Church.  Had the intention been to exclude non-Indian members, as the United States argues, the language of the exemption would have so clearly provided.  Indeed, the federal peyote exemption makes no reference whatsoever to a racial exclusion”

 

“The District Court, Burciaga, Chief Judge, held that: (1) permitting Indians’ non-drug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of Native American Church, but prohibiting such use by non-Indians, would violate free exercise and equal protection clauses; (2) compelling interest test applied to free exercise challenge to prosecution of non-Indian member, and (3) prosecution would violate free exercise clause.  Motions granted…

 

            See 3 (c) Federal law is otherwise amended or enacted to allow said usage or possession.

 

Federal Religious Peyote Exemption 21 C.F.R. 1307.31, this law has been codified as a statute in the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978

 

“Section 1307.31 Native American Church.  The listing of peyote as a controlled substance in Schedule I does not apply to the nondrug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of the Native American Church, and members of the Native American Church so using peyote are exempt from registration.  Any person who manufactures peyote for or distributes peyote to the Native American Church, however, is required to obtain registration annually and to comply with all other requirements of law.”

 

            (c) Federal law is otherwise amended or enacted to allow said usage or possession.

 

 

United States v. Robert Boyll, Unanimous Ruling – May 10, 1990

“Nowhere is it even suggested that the exemption applies only to Indian members of the Native American Church.  Had the intention been to exclude non-Indian members, as the United States argues, the language of the exemption would have so clearly provided.  Indeed, the federal peyote exemption makes no reference whatsoever to a racial exclusion”

 

“The District Court, Burciaga, Chief Judge, held that: (1) permitting Indians’ non-drug use of peyote in bona fide religious ceremonies of Native American Church, but prohibiting such use by non-Indians, would violate free exercise and equal protection clauses; (2) compelling interest test applied to free exercise challenge to prosecution of no-Indian member, and (3) prosecution would violate free exercise clause.  Motions granted…

Counter Suit to SLAPP suit against Ben Abbott. 

This document give an enormous amount of information about this situation.