The Big Lie: The Doctrine of Christian Discovery

Steven Newcomb is the author of “Pagans in the Promised Land: Decoding the Doctrine of Christian Discovery.” He is the foremost authority on the subject. Steven will be a featured speaker of the University at Buffalo’s Indigenous Survival Day Speaker Series on Monday, October 14, 6 to 8 p.m. at 120 Clemens Hall. He will be a guest on “Let’s Talk Native…with John Kane” on Sunday, October 13, 9 to 11 p.m. EDT on WWKB ESPN Sports Radio 1520AM. LTN streams live on the Native Pride blog and on the TuneIn app for PCs and smart phones. If you miss Steven Newcomb live on LTN or at UB, catch his appearance in studio on demand on my blog or look for links on my “Let’s Talk Native…” Facebook group page.

[youtube width=”100%”]9bI9NAIfock[/youtube] Added from youtube, part 1

Despite where you stand on religion or Christianity specifically, a lie is a lie even if the church utters it. One of the greatest lies ever pulled off on people the world over is that “God” chose individual “families” to rule over the rest of humanity. Even though many, including Americans who should know better, are still enamored by the notion of “princes and princesses,” most of us now relegate this stupid fairytale to Disney cartoons and the mainstream media’s coverage of a meaningless “royal family.”

[youtube width=”100%”]VgPRxr7VEBQ[/youtube] Added from youtube, part 2

Today there is another monumental ancient big lie that simply won’t die. Well, at least the U.S. and Canada hope it won’t. The Doctrine of Christian Discovery is actually a bigger lie than even the monarchy ordained by “God” that no one buys anymore. This doctrine is based almost solely on a series of decrees by 15th century popes. Simply stated, the Vatican ruled that when a Christian people came into the lands of pagans – or non-believers – Christians could claim their land, their possessions and reduce those pagans to perpetual slavery.

Of course, this sounds so preposterous that a reasonable person would assume such a practice and policy would have died with slavery. Certainly, it would have no place in a nation that claims to operate with a separation of church and state. But not only is this doctrine codified in U.S. law with court rulings and legislation built upon those rulings but it is the basis of all U.S. land title. It is also the foundation that the house of cards that is “federal Indian law” is built upon. There is no event, no treaty, no surrender, no petition and no referendum that ever placed us “pagans” under the authority of the United States or anyone else. There are only the words of dead popes and the dead judges who regurgitated them.

The United Nations even felt compelled to state, what should be obvious to all, in the third affirmation of the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP):

Affirming further that all doctrines, policies and practices based on or advocating superiority of peoples or individuals on the basis of national origin or racial, religious, ethnic or cultural differences are racist, scientifically false, legally invalid, morally condemnable and socially unjust.

So, surely, with the entire international community condemning religious based racism, issues including equating discovery with conquest and the exclusively European-based transferrable “discovery title” with legitimate land ownership must be revisited. After all, can the world sit by and ignore the theft of land, subjugation and genocide of an entire hemisphere of people based on religious dogma?

Yes, it can. And, it does.

The UNDRIP is just words on paper unless someone gives it force. The force required isn’t just to overcome the inertia of history. It has to overcome world powers posturing for control of water, oil, minerals, gas and all the other natural resources on the lands of us “pagans” — the land, too, for that matter. The force must be enough to overcome the strongest attraction known to man. That is the attraction between a rich man and his money.

The church is in no hurry to put this issue to rest. How much have they pillaged from the “New World” in five centuries? How much do they still pillage? And who else has benefited? Even the Jewish judge on the U.S. Supreme Court cited the Christian Discovery Doctrine in a rationale to dismiss a Native land claim a few years ago. Think about it: a Jewish woman citing 15th century Papal Bulls. And this was in 2005. How ironic and absurd is that?

It is one thing for Chief Justice John Marshal to make racist rulings in 1823 when a black man still could be bought and sold, a woman was still regarded as a man’s possession, and an “Indian” was just a savage with way too much land. But even in an era of offering apologies while admitting no guilt, there must be movement on this.

I once asked at the U.N., “Who gives the UNDRIP force?” Who repudiates racist doctrines that continue to support unjust policies? The only answer I got was, “We do.” Let’s do it then. But first let’s learn how their house of cards is built. Investigate their BS and don’t let it stand!

– John Karhiio Kane, Mohawk, a national commentator on Native American issues, hosts “Let’s Talk Native…with John Kane,” ESPN-AM 1520 in Buffalo, Sundays, 9-11 p.m. He is a frequent guest on WGRZ-TV’s (NBC/Buffalo) “2 Sides” and “The Capitol Pressroom with Susan Arbetter” in Albany. John’s “Native Pride” blog can be found at, He also has a very active “Let’s Talk Native…with John Kane” group page on Facebook.

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  1. Wow, what an eye opener. Having been raised in Africa, schooled in India, Worked in Europe and now living in America I am finally starting to see the picture. Thank you so much for the illuminating lecture.

  2. They are bringing in globalization through municipal by laws and it’s why the gov’t has to remove Indigenous sovereignty through the implementation of FEE simple land registration. Who is behind this? None other than the United Nations!

    1. Localization then Regionalization then Globalization, we are on our way thats for sure, brantford is always looking for ways to join the Waterloo region, after that it will be hard to battle there newly discovered resources… Big softdrink companies can only be within a region, leaving places like brantford begging to become regionalised.

  3. “I once asked at the U.N., “Who gives the UNDRIP force?”

    I ask now what gives the Kaianerekowa force, Why are we reaching outside our own Box to solve our constitutional issues, Looking at foreign laws that we are third party to that Confuse the real issue.

    Wampum 58 warns us from doing so.

    Giving third parties the right to deal with us by Validating their corruptions by thinking their foreign laws can solve our issues, when our own constitution makes account for stuff like this.

    Additionally, the Two Row Wampum makes null and void all ROMAL LAW, and sub roman laws, such as common law, civil law, international law, canon law, ecclesiastic/papal law.

    Wampum law has never been replaced an remains the only valid unbroken form of law on great turtle island.

    The pope (vicar of christ) said through his papal “doctrine of discovery” that he offers to be our father , the two row is a reminder that we said we have a counter offer, and we will be like brothers. This makes us brothers with Christ himself.

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