Along the highway south of Buffalo, New York, stands a huge statue of an Indian chief with one arm and the hand at the end of it raised level with his eyes as if bequeathing a blessing or curse upon the region.
Is it simply a greeting? (Photo from Roadside America.) Yes. A salute.
But this was a Seneca chief, and while so many Native Americans were good, loving, and God-fearing people, the Senecas were known, especially in Upstate New York, for their warring nature.
Like many Indians, they also practiced pagan rituals — and according to a devout Christian psychiatrist named Dr. Kenneth McAll, who studied curses, they often prayed one over territory that the white settlers were taking from them. (Check out Dr. McAll’s fascinating book, Healing the Haunted.)
This is a part of western New York State where thick clouds seem also to blanket the area, and in winter, famous lake-effect snows make national news, dumping enormous quantities upon the southern tier (and besmirching its reputation, as photo from the Buffalo News at right aptly displays). It is also an area of peculiar wind, with even a sign, along the Thruway, warning of frequent gusty conditions. And: it has long been plagued by economic decline, and crises, just north, such as Love Canal (caused, though, by the white man).
One of the worst thunderstorms I’ve ever witnessed occurred when I was speaking in this area at what is known as the Chautauqua Institution back in the early 1980s — the lightning so close, and thunder so vociferous — right outside the window — that I sought refuge on the floor.
Just across the lake where I was staying is Lily Dale, the nation’s largest community of mediums, psychics, astrologers, palm readers, fortune tellers, and the like — an encampment of Spiritualists.
It does not escape notice that these spiritualists established a second community east of Orlando as a winter refuge — under the direction, it was said, of an Indian “guide” (spirit) who, through a medium, directed them there.
It’s known as Cassadaga, and it too is an area where high winds have caused effects (trees are bent along nearby Interstate 10) and where there are thunderstorms (I witnessed one ten years ago that was comparable to that at Chautauqua — lightning flashing with a frequency and wroth I had never seen before; ironically, there are Indian burial mounds in the vicinity).
In Niagara Falls, Indians used to sacrifice the fairest maiden each year, sending her on a canoe over the falls!
That’s the city of Love Canal, drastic economic decline, and also a historic spot of Indian massacre called Devil’s Hole. (Did you see the black gunk that plagued the waters there last week?)
Are there connections?
We live on a mysterious planet. It is a planet that necessitates, always, everywhere, no matter who inhabited, no matter where we traverse, protective and cleansing prayer. Travel always with faith in the heart and prayer on the lips. This has all power over the enemy!
As one deliverance expert said, the world is not a playground but a battleground, and while Jesus wants us to have joy (nothing wrong with having a good time!), such joy only comes when we ask Him to still the winds and when in His Name we sweep residual darkness away.
–Michael H. Brown